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Tuesday’s Tip: Download It. Save It.

Download Icon, via Wikipedia and "Crystal Clear app download manager" by Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon; - All Crystal Clear icons were posted by the author as LGPL on kde-look;. Licensed under LGPL via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crystal_Clear_app_download_manager.png#/media/File:Crystal_Clear_app_download_manager.png
Download Icon, via Wikipedia: “Crystal Clear app download manager” by Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon.
download it.
Save it to your hard disk.
and maybe Use a personal genealogy program.

 

Randy Seaver has recently posted on his blog, Genea-Musings, about Ancestry.com and 567 databases that are no longer available to subscribers. (See his two excellent posts for details.) He did finally get an answer from Ancestry that is not very satisfactory to those serious genealogists who pay up to $300 per year for access to Ancestry’s databases. Ancestry says the databases were old and similar to newer databases, but  won’t divulge which databases were removed. Good genealogists know that similar databases may be indexed differently, presented differently, and may actually contain some unique elements, helping someone to find that elusive ancestor or record. This loss from Ancestry also really messes up those who have sources cited for these old databases- where is that same information in the new? More junk genealogy… so who needs accurate citations anyway??

Find important sources for your ancestors? Want to be able to access it at a later date?  If so, then:

1. Download it.

2. Save it to your hard drive, and buy an external drive if you need more space, or for a backup.

3. Maintain your data in a personal genealogy program that is backed up in multiple places. You could, even in this digital age, make one of your copies paper. What a concept- what’s old is new again.

Of course, there are copyright restrictions related to downloading, so check Terms of Service. Websites like Find A Grave (FAG) are an example. When saving an image from FAG after contacting the person who posted it and getting permission, an extension can be added to the file name, such as  “_permission” so that it is obvious that it was legal to download.

Our Broida family learned about saving important information the hard way too. If you have been a long-time Heritage Ramblings reader, you might remember the posts about Sarah Gitel Frank Broida who died in Denver, Colorado, in 1901. Colorado death certificates were online at one point, and the URL was saved. Unfortunately the state of Colorado decided that death certificates, including those that were over 100 years old did not need to be online, or else they wanted more revenue, and the death certificates were removed. We sent them the money and a pedigree of Gitel’s great-great-grandson- even a copy of his driver’s license!- in order to get a copy. They took our $25 (“research fee”) but did not send the certificate, saying that the certificates could only be provided to family within 1-2 generations. (It did not say that online at the time.) So, 114 years after a death, they are expecting children or grandchildren to still be alive- most likely not going to happen. That death certificate will now remain locked in their archives, useless to anyone. In the future they might use ‘non-use’ as an excuse to destroy the old documents, like some facilities have done; that non-use would be because of their own regulations. No family member has a copy that we know of, and never will. Sad.

This Ancestry removal of databases is bad timing too- Ancestry’s change to their “New Ancestry” has caused a lot of flack in the genealogy community, and many are trying to decide if they are going to stop subscribing once the new version which has missing functions, some horrendous location glitches (it changes some locations to wrong places!) and other problems, is forced on us. They have already changed the Canadian version of Ancestry overnight, without warning- maybe they expect Canadians to be too polite to fuss like those in the US. Ancestry is firm in telling US subscribers that the “new Ancestry will soon be the only Ancestry.” So users will need to make a decision as to their subscription, but unless you delete it, they will always have your tree to show to their subscribers.

I must say that I am not one of the Ancestry.com haters. I understand it is very expensive to purchase rights to such materials, maintain the databases, pay programmers, etc. Ancestry has added value to records by indexing them (not always the best but we’ll take it anyway), providing a nice, useable front end (in “Old Ancestry”), and designing ways to link records and people and places and time- pretty complex, really. I have been a long-time subscriber and have found wonderful things that have thrilled my family, and that have allowed me to tell the stories I put up on the blog. I just wish Ancestry would put more thought into projects before releasing them, would implement suggestions from actual users, not just coders, and spend less money on advertising and programming for new, young subscribers to automagically hear all their family stories. That is not how genealogy works, but I suppose their current course does make business sense.

I also hope that organizations that have partnered with Ancestry will carefully review their decisions and restrictions. I have heard that FamilySearch has deleted their free probate records now that they have shared them with Ancestry. Don’t know how to check out that claim, since I did not see those items previously, but it is a concern if true.

Thinking about leaving Ancestry? Sadly, the GEDCOM standard which is used to transfer data between genealogy programs is very old and does not copy over images or many tagged items, puts sources in the wrong place, adds duplicate people, etc. If you have Family Tree Maker, you can sync it to only one of your Ancestry trees, but it is also an Ancestry program that has gotten so much worse over the years, and likely will continue to do so since Ancestry is not very responsive to consumers. (I used their very first version and on up until I could no longer stand the problems, especially when using with a Mac. The Mac version was not fully functional and not good either in my experience.)

Keeping another tree in personal software is very time-consuming, but will help if Ancestry, which is currently for sale, makes more changes that users are not happy with, or even goes away. A new focus is their DNA and health products- another item to be wary of. Will they spend less money and time on family history while promoting these newer products? Many are not happy with their DNA products either. In our family, four DNA tests that have only one connection to a known relative (other than immediate family) is not very useful, especially when I know cousins have also taken the tests. Also, having Ancestry change ethnicity percentages a year later makes one wonder about accuracy. (They told us that the unexpectedly high Scandinavian ethnicity of many very-English users indicates Viking ancestors who settled in England or Scotland. Sorry, Ancestry- autosomal DNA is not that old.) Ancestry also dumped a lot of Y-DNA and mtDNA samples when they decided to get out of that business; they refused to let descendants have the data. So we don’t know what will happen to our Ancestry trees, and all the work that has gone into them. It might be a good plan to download a current GEDCOM of your tree from Ancestry and put it in another program, adding documents and images as you can. Download your raw DNA data as well, as it can be transferred to other companies (for a fee).

Sorry if this post sounds like an anti-Ancestry rant, but really it was more to drive home the point that protecting your work and family history is up to YOU. Don’t let the internet lose it. Don’t let companies have total control over it. So download it, save it, and put it all in another program on your hard drive where you have a bit more control. (Yes, the other program can go out of business, but what else can we do?)

And do backups. regularly, and in multiple places/formats.

Even on paper.

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Randy Seaver’s blog: http://www.geneamusings.com/2015/10/where-did-567-databases-n-ancestrycom.html
  2.  See also Dear Myrtle’s Blog on this subject: http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2015/10/seriously-ancestry-im-not-buying-this.html
  3. Sarah Gitel (Frank) Broida and Denver resources: http://heritageramblings.net/2015/01/27/tuesdays-tip-broida-family-research-in-denver-colorado-repositories/

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.

Those Places Thursday: Another Denver Colorado Repository

Gilbert Broida in Wrestling Tourney, May, 1935. In "The West End Press", May 3, 1935, (no vol.) No. 64, page 4, column 1. digitaldu.coalliance.org
Gerald Broida in Wrestling Tourney at 8:20, May 6, 1935. In “The West End Press”, May 3, 1935, (no vol.) No. 64, page 4, column 1. digitaldu.coalliance.org

Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

Incredible resources spring up on a daily basis, whether they are just becoming available online or whether they are just now showing up in my search results. A  recent find is the University of Denver’s “Digital DU.”

Some of our Broida family went to Denver around 1900 (John and Gitel Broida, and their sons Joseph Broida and Harold Broida), then returned to Pittsburgh after Gitel died; Pittsburgh was where many of the family had settled earlier. (See previous posts, including this one about the Broidas in Denver.) A son who had stayed in Pennsylvania with family while his mother was ill, Theodore “Dave” Broida, married in Aurora, CO, in 1916, then lived in the Denver area and raised a family. It was puzzling why Dave moved to Denver, of all places, but the recent repository find gives us some clues. So do recent serendipitous comments when talking with the generations that were closer to the time and people.

One dear cousin who is an incredible, deep well of Broida information told me this week that Gerald Broida told her years ago that young Jewish boys used to ride the trains west, selling candy to passengers; his father, Dave Broida, was one of them. One day Dave got off the train in Denver, fell in love with the place, and decided to move there. Gerald had also commented that the 1916 wedding of Dave Broida and Lucy Shatzke was the first Jewish wedding in Arapahoe County, Colorado.

A second conversation that same night with a different family member revived her memories of Dave Broida sending the three sisters a box of 100 pieces of Double Bubble Bubble Gum from Denver occasionally during the war years, when food and candy was rationed. Bubble gum used latex rubber for its chewiness, but rubber and manufacturing facilities were needed more for tires for jeeps and military trucks, gaskets, seals, inflatable vests, etc., so bubble gum was hard to come by in the mid 1940s. The young girls rationed out their sweet treasure of bubble gum from their great-uncle, and no doubt were envied by friends. “Dave and Lucy [Broida] were in the candy business” she said also, and the light bulb went on. Here was more information to corroborate that Dave had been one of the young boys selling candy on a train as they were off to see the world. A rest stop in Denver with the clean air (compared to polluted Pittsburgh) and beautiful mountains even higher than those of Pennsylvania may have made him realize he had found the home for his heart. He would have had knowledge of candy wholesalers to buy his wares for the train, so getting into the candy business later would have been logical.

In the 1920 US Federal Census, however, Dave was mistranscribed as being a ‘machinist’ but is actually a ‘merchant’ in the furniture business.

The next US census, in 1930,  lists Theodore D. Broida as a salesman for novelty goods. That could be candy and all those impulse items at the register. A 1940 census entry has not yet been found for the family, but would be very useful. City directories or newspapers might have more information to verify Dave’s occupation, so a Google search was next. The search found The West End Press article above. While about G. Broida being in a wrestling tourney at a weight of 145 pounds (he was 17 then), Gerald Broida was Dave and Lucy’s son. The link led to “Digital DU.”

There are 633 hits on The West End Press at “Digital DU” but “Broida” does not have any hits, so either the search engine does not go into pages of the newspaper, or else I haven’t figured out how to use the website. (There is an advanced search and even a how-to, but still no Broida results though we know there is at least one mention in the newspaper.) A note to the digital librarian may help, so that is on the agenda. Looking through other areas of the site, however, showed more interesting areas to peruse. There is a “Special Collections and Archives” section that provided more clues to our family story. Apparently Denver, as suspected, was a location that a lot of people with ‘consumption’ (tuberculosis), such as Gitel Broida, moved to, looking for a cure for their disease. It became a problem for Denver to grow so fast, and more sanitariums were founded to serve those who needed medical care. The Digital DU website lists the “Jewish Consumptives Relief Society Records” from the organization founded by Eastern European Jewish men in 1904 (so too late for Broida records), many of whom had the disease themselves. (See image of Patients Undergoing Heliotherapy– likely Gitel Broida underwent the same treatment years earlier.) The Jewish population of Denver was growing and thriving as well, and the Special Collections and Archives contain Jewish artifacts as well as documents.

This website appears to be worth investigating further, especially how to navigate and search more effectively.

Searching nearby universities and their digital libraries is a great resource for family historians- otherwise, how would we have known that Gerald Broida weighed 145 lbs. in 1945 and wrestled in a Jewish league?

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) 1930 US Federal Census for Joseph Shatzke, head of household- Year: 1920; Census Place: Aurora, Adams, Colorado; Roll: T625_155; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 8; Image: 207. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

2) 1930 US Federal Census for Theodore Broida, head of household- Year: 1930; Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: 232; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0220; Image: 1045.0; FHL microfilm: 2339967. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.

3) Jewish Consumptives Relief Society Records – http://digitaldu.coalliance.org/fedora/repository/codu:32554

Patients undergoing heliotherapy- http://digitaldu.coalliance.org/fedora/repository/codu:60066

4) Special Collections and Archives- http://digitaldu.coalliance.org/fedora/repository/codu%3A17451

5) The West End Press article- http://digitaldu.coalliance.org/fedora/repository/codu%3A55006/B121.02.0010.0006.00016_access.pdf/access

6) Denver University’s Digital DU http://digitaldu.coalliance.org

 

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.

Sunday Obituary: John Broida

 

Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

 

John Broida Obituary. "The Jewish Criterion" 18 Nov 1938, Vol. 93, No. 2, Page 25. Courtesy of "Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project,"  http://digitalcollections.library.cmu.edu/pjn
John Broida Obituary. “The Jewish Criterion” 18 Nov 1938, Vol. 93, No. 2, Page 25. Courtesy of “Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project,” http://digitalcollections.library.cmu.edu/pjn/index.jsp  (Click to enlarge.)      

 

John Broida Obituary. "The American Jewish Outlook" 18 Nov 1938, Vol. 8, No. 24, Page 15. Courtesy of "Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project," http://digitalcollections.library.cmu.edu/pjn/index.jsp (Click to enlarge.)
John Broida Obituary. “The American Jewish Outlook” 18 Nov 1938, Vol. 8, No. 24, Page 15. Courtesy of “Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project,” http://digitalcollections.library.cmu.edu/pjn/index.jsp     (Click to enlarge.)

Today is a good opportunity to thank the individuals and organizations who so generously share their resources with others. The above obituaries are available as part of the Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project found at http://digitalcollections.library.cmu.edu/pjn/index.jsp.

Although these periodicals are no longer published, these articles are still under copyright, since they were published after 1923. A reply to my email to Carnegie Mellon University concerning permission to publish let me know that CMU just ‘facilitate[s] electronic access’, and she forwarded information about Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, the copyright holder. Their archivist thanked me for asking permission- we all know so many do not- and gave me the right to publish these newspaper clips to help tell the story of our family. She also said,

“We would like as many people as possible to discover, as you have, this rich resource, which includes information applicable to areas way beyond Western PA.”

(She did ask me to cite the articles with at least the name of the project and link as above, which many genealogists do not, sadly.)

What a wonderful mission for an organization! Knowledge should be free for all. While I do recognize the costs of archiving, digitizing, developing and maintaining websites, etc., and thus do not mind paying for a website to aggregate large amounts of data for easy searching, such as Ancestry.com, free use of old material is a refreshing concept. It will help us learn more about our past, and thus help us navigate our future.

 

Thank you, Rodef Shalom Congregation, CMU, and all the other organizations who freely share their treasures!

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) See citation on image.

2) Email correspondence 04/02/2015 and 04/07/2015.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.

Tuesday’s Tip: Local Historical Societies and the Beerbower Family

Samuel T. Beerbower Bible-  Unknown couple from the front of the Bible. Posted courtesy of the Marion County Historical Society. (Click to enlarge.)
Samuel T. Beerbower Bible- Unknown couple from the front of the Bible. Posted courtesy of the Marion County Historical Society. (Click to enlarge.)

Beerbower Family

Tuesday’s Tip: Contact the local historical society where your ancestors lived. They may have a treasure trove of family information!

We were very lucky because the Marion County Historical Society (MCHS) found and contacted us through the blog. Our Beerbower family lived in Marion County, Ohio for a number of generations, and a Beerbower family bible was donated to the Society, along with photographs that were found inside. The MCHS is planning an exhibit and they would like to learn more about the Beerbower family.

Samuel T. Beerbower Bible-  Unknown couple from the front of the Bible- reverse. Posted courtesy of the Marion County Historical Society. (Click to enlarge.)
Samuel T. Beerbower Bible- Unknown couple from the front of the Bible- reverse. Posted courtesy of the Marion County Historical Society. (Click to enlarge.)

Alas, like so many photos, there are no names nor dates on the majority of the images (though we are lucky with this one). We are putting these images up on the blog in hope that someone will recognize some of these folks, and let us know. The MCHS has kindly shared all the images of Beerbowers and Bible pages to help us piece together more of our family history.

This Bible is known as the Samuel T. Beerbower Bible. Samuel was the brother of our direct ancestor, Edgar Peter Beerbower, who married Anna Missouri Springsteen. He was thus an uncle to Anna May Beerbower, who married Gerard William Helbling. (If you are a grandchild of May and GW, Samuel would be your great-great uncle.) See the Beerbower Family Tree on the blog for more information.

So who are the people in this image?

Known Data:

Clue #1– The image was found in the front of the Bible.

Clue #2– The Bible the picture was found in is called the Samuel T. Beerbower Bible.

Clue #3– The reverse of the image notes the photographer as “Wm. H. Moore, Third Story, Bennett’s Block, Marion, Ohio.”

Clue #4– “1878” is handwritten on the reverse of the photo.

Clue #5– The image shows a man and a woman.

Analysis:

Clue #1– The image was probably of two people very important and/or closely related, to the family, since it was in the front of the Bible. That would often be parents.

Clue #2– Although the bible is called the Samuel T. Beerbower Bible, the notations inside suggest it may have been the Bible of Nathan Peters, Samuel’s father-in-law, and passed down to Irene L. Peters, Samuel’s wife. There are mostly Peters family member listed, and just a few Beerbowers. Instead, it may have been Irene’s Bible into which she copied the names from her father’s Bible.

Clue #3– Research on this photographer indicates he was a daguerreotypist 1857-60 and had studios in Cinncinnati 1857-97 and Marion 1859-97. There was also a “Moore’s Photographic Gallery” on Bennet’s Block in Marion, but no date noted. The History of Marion County, Ohio, 1883, notes that his Bennet Block studio was established in 1855, and at the time of the writing of the county history, published in 1883, he had moved to Main Street. If a photographer had a large stock of backings, this one may have been still used after moving to the new location, but for now, we will use 1855-1883 as the time range for the Bennet location.

Checking for W. H. Moore in Marion city directories will help to narrow the time frame a bit.

Clue #4– It is unknown who added the date to the photo. The date does fit with the known dates of the photographer’s location. The photo appears to be a ‘cabinet card’ which was introduced in the early 1870s, so the date of 1878 still is very plausible. Analyzing the style of clothing and hairstyles may help to narrow the date range of the image.

Clue #5– The man and woman in the image are posed as married persons are often posed. They appear to be in their 30s-50s.

Nathan Peters- Portrait from "History of Marion Co OH," 1883, p226. Drawn from a picture of him, per his bio in the above.
Nathan Peters- Portrait and signature from “History of Marion Co OH,” 1883, p226. Drawn from a picture of him, per his bio in the above. (Click to enlarge.)

My hypothesis (which remains to be proven) is that the first image is Nathan Peters with his wife, probably his second wife, Mary Ballantine Peters. They married on 02 Jan 1842, and Irene L. Peters, their daughter, was the Bible owner at one point.

Mary B. Peters died on 18 Dec 1850, however, so could not have been in a photo taken by WH Moore, since his business started in 1855. I am wondering if this could be a copy of an earlier photo, possibly a daguerrotype; this appears to be the case with another photo in the collection. Nathan would have been 79 in 1878, so that would be older than the man in this picture, thus reinforcing the idea this is a copy of an older image.

We have no evidence that Nathan remarried after the death of his second wife. Censuses show some of his children living with him on the farm in his later years, plus a servant for the household and a farm laborer, but no wife is listed. (We have been unable to find him in the 1850 census, although his 1850 Agriculture Schedule is available.)

Note the cheekbones and jawline of the man in the couple picture, and his ears- they look somewhat similar to the drawn portrait of Nathan that was in the county history, which might vary somewhat as it was an artist’s conception of a photo. The hairline and brow seem similar, too.

The Bible has mostly Peters information, and very little on the Beerbowers, so that is another clue that suggests this first image in the Bible might be Nathan Peters and wife.

What do you think?

 

It is so wonderful that Historical Societies and scholars are finally working with family historians- that is the only way to tell the whole story of history.

And please, if you know anything about the couple in this image, contact us!

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Image courtesy of the Marion County Historical Society.

2) Ohio Photographers: 1839-1900 by Diane VanSkiver Gage, Carl Mautz Publishing, Jan 1, 1998. https://books.google.com/books?id=LChcvLOmf-UC&pg=PA81&lpg=PA81&dq=Wm.+H.+Moore+photographer+marion+oh&source=bl&ots=_MClGo0rAD&sig=XL9n5rCyt7z-j3m1tpdO68C8XVk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nJb-VOX0IoiUNtPXgfAI&ved=0CC8Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Wm.%20H.%20Moore%20photographer%20marion%20oh&f=false

3) “History of Marion County, Ohio,” Leggett, Conaway, 1883, p226. https://archive.org/details/historyofmarionc00legg

4) Family Tree of Anna May Beerbower:  http://heritageramblings.net/family-trees/the-helbling-beerbower-springsteen-family/

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see Contact Us form), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.

Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.

Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.

Tuesday’s Tip: Putting Together the Clues about Henry Horn

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Henrich Horn: Military Career
Henry Horn's Pension Application Affirmation and his mark.
Henry Horn’s Pension Application Affirmation and his mark. (Click to enlarge.)

 

[Editor’s Note: We apologize that this Tuesday post was not published on Tuesday- not sure what computer gremlins intervened. But here it is on Thursday, and now yesterday’s post will probably make more sense.]

 

➡ Horn Family, McMurray Family, Genealogy Research

 

Have a genealogical conundrum? Have lots of facts and details but not sure how they all fit together?

Tuesday’s Tip:

1. Write a list of brief notes- just the facts.

2. Look at the notes apart from all that data and details circled around your desk space or computer desktop, and with a very open mind to all the possibilities. Give your thoughts time to brew, and meld- even ‘sleep on it.’

3. Analyze the brief facts, and find any connections- or none. Knowing what is ‘NOT’ may be important too.

4. Write an Analysis Report that details how you came to your conclusions. It doesn’t have to be long, perfect, or totally accurate (yet)- it is just a record of your thought process to help in the future.

In the dark long ago of genealogical research, pre-internet, gathering information was tedious and difficult. One would read the queries posted in genealogical magazines, join local historical societies and place queries in their newsletters, then send a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelopes) so the person you were writing to with questions did not have to buy a stamp just to respond to you, nor have to figure out the handwriting for your address. One would copy by hand or make carbon copies (the origin of “CC” in your email program, for the internet generation) pedigree charts and Family Group Records to include in the letter, and then one had to wait months, even years, to see your envelope returned with hopefully useful information typed with a typewriter with dirty keys and usually with handwritten notes inserted or in the margins. The carbon paper was messy and smeared, but that was all we had until the late 60s when copy machines could be found. (Those were very smelly and left oil and/or alcohol stains on the paper, but still an improvement.)

Books, journals, and government records were, of course, available with information, but they were secreted away in all sorts of depositories one would have to travel to, and once there, with many not indexed, or not indexed well, poring over the books and old records was a challenge. Thankfully the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) had a lending library, and would ship old books from their circulating library. I eagerly awaited those big boxes of sometimes very old, falling-apart books that held so much information. The St. Louis County, Missouri, public library had an excellent genealogy section that was helpful too.

Microfilm was available for order from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and could be read in a local branch of their library.

The above information was all we had to go on to learn Henry Horn’s history. Our Tuesday Tip to write down what you know, in a brief form, and then analyze, is how we came to a hypothesis about Henry Horn and his military service, using information gleaned from the above resources.

Following is a bit of what was known about Henry Horn back in the late 60s/early 70s, even pretty much up until the 1990s and special genealogy interest mailing forums online, and then Ancestry.com. Finding Henry Horn’s pension application on microfilm in 1992 helped immensely.

1. Mary Ann Horn (1824-1891) married Henderson McMurray and had Frederick Asbury McMurray (1850-1929), one of their 13 children and an ancestor.

2. Mary Ann Horn’s father was Frederick P. Horn (1796-1867), and his father was Henry Horn (1758-1845). We could not find Henry’s parents nor record of his birth in the US, but Horn is a common name.

3. Henry Horn served in the American Revolutionary War forces, as he had a US Pension granted.

4. Henry Horn was born near Hesse-Cassel, Germany, in the year 1758, per his pension.

5. Henry Horn was just 16 when he came to America, per his pension.

6. Henry Horn enlisted at Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1777, per his pension.

7. Henry Horn participated in the Battle of Trenton, per his military marker.

8. Henry Horn married Elizabeth Pretzman (1759-1840) in 1782 in Leesburg, Loudon County, Virginia.

9. Henry and Elizabeth moved to Bedford County, Pennsylvania, with their children.

10. Oftentimes, his name was listed as “Heinrich Horn” or “Henrich Horn.”

 

As a colonial America and American Revolution history buff, and knowing the history of the time, as I skimmed these brief facts, the lightbulb went on.

Born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany? The hated Hessians ‘mercenaries’  that supplemented British troops were recruited from there.

Born in 1758? That would make him prime age for the military and draft, age 18 in 1776.

The Battle of Trenton? The Hessians marched with General Howe’s British Redcoats and took New Jersey as a defeated George Washington and his troops retreated. The Hessians occupied the small town of Trenton, NJ, as their winter quarters, but were attacked 26 Dec. 1776 by Washington’s forces after crossing the Delaware River and the Hessians surrendered after their commander was killed.

BIG CLUE– There is no mention of the Battle of Trenton in Henry’s pension. If he had been part of Washington’s forces, wouldn’t that famous, turning-tide battle be remembered, even at his advanced age at the time of the pension?

Place of enlistment Lancaster, PA? The Hessians captured at Trenton on 26 December 1776, over 900, were taken to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as prisoners of war. So Henry Horn would have been in that place in the year 1777 if he indeed was a Hessian.

Enlisted in 1777? The prisoners at Lancaster had been enticed to enlist in General Washington’s forces. They were well-trained soldiers, and the American rebels needed all the military forces they could muster.

Hmmmm, this analysis suggests that Henry Horn could have been a Hessian- but was he? Granted, there were many Germans who had immigrated to the colonies before 1776, and there were German regiments who served Washington well. The above analysis is not quite the genealogical standard of ‘preponderance of evidence,’ but a good basis for more research- for proof.

Unfortunately, back then, there was not much available to check whether or not Heinrich Horn was on the rolls of the Hessian recruits. HETRINA, or Hessische Truppen im Amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg, Index nach Familiennamen, was not available in English, but I felt it would give the answer. Sadly, it was only available in German in Germany, and I never got a reply from my letters to archives there. The Hessians kept very good records, so that they would be paid well by the British King George for his German mercenaries, but I just could not find access to any of them at that time.

Once the mailing lists and genealogy websites began popping up on the internet, plus with correspondence with other Horn researchers, the consensus was that Henry could have come to America via one of the following scenarios:

1. He was avoiding the German draft, since he was the prime age of 16, so immigrated on his own. Germany had a history of sending their armies to other countries as mercenaries, as did other European countries.

2. He came to America with his parents when about 12, arriving at the Port of Philadelphia in 1770 on the ‘Good Ship Sally.’ The family settled in York, PA, and Henry joined the colonists when war broke out with Britain. This was the view held by one of the premier Horn researchers.

3. He came as a Hessian soldier.

 

The third scenario turned out to be the truth about Heinrich Horn, and we will explore more in future posts.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Early research of the author and others.

2) See also:

Military Monday: Heinrich Horn” at http://heritageramblings.net/2015/03/02/military-monday-heinrich-horn/

Tombstone Tuesday: Henry Horn” at http://heritageramblings.net/2015/02/24/tombstone-tuesday-henry-horn/

George Washington and Our Ancestors” at http://heritageramblings.net/2015/02/22/george-washington-and-our-ancestors/

It’s July 4th- Do You Know Our Revolutionary War Ancestors?” at http://heritageramblings.net/2014/07/04/its-july-4th-do-you-know-your-revolutionary-war-ancestors/

The McMurray-Payne-Benjamin- Horn Family Family Tree Page: http://heritageramblings.net/family-trees/the-mcmurray-payne-horn-family/. Scroll down to the Horn tree. Please note that the generations before Henry Horn have not yet been well researched to verify what other (good) researchers have provided.

 

 

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