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Mystery Monday: Who Is ‘A. Beerbower’ in the Frances “Fannie” Isabella (Brown) Chapman Photo Collection?

A. Beerbower, Iowa City, Iowa photographer.
A. Beerbower, Iowa City, Iowa photographer. (Click to enlarge.)

Beerbower Family, Helbling Family (Click for Family Tree)

A kind lady who owns this photo contacted us after finding the blog’s stories about other Beerbowers. Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly who this “A. Beerbower” is. We do have a few possibilities, and knowing the photographer and being able to determine approximately when he was in business and where can help us pinpoint who it might be. Thankfully, we have a scan of the reverse of the picture, and it includes the photographer’s name and place of business.

Isaac Augustus Wetherby was a portrait painter in Boston, Massachusetts in 1849, but by 1854 he had taken a photo of the old Iowa Capitol, so most likely the image of A. Beerbower was taken sometime around or after that later date. Further research listed on a walking tour in Iowa City stated that Wetherby had a commercial photography studio from 1854-1874 in Iowa City, so we now have our time frame for the photo.

A. Beerbower, Iowa City, Iowa photographer, reverse.
A. Beerbower, Iowa City, Iowa photographer, reverse.

Iowa City can be a transient place, since it is the home of the University of Iowa. Students from other states attend the university, and people often had their likeness made when they were visiting an area. So we know that just because the photo was taken there does not mean that A. Beerbower actually lived there.

Andrew C. Beerbower is one candidate for consideration as “A. Beerbower.” He was born about 1843 in Ohio (possibly Hardy, Holmes, Ohio) to George Albert Beerbower and Margaret Virginia Wolgamott. George was the son of Caspar J. Beerbower (1782-1851) and Christina (Reiber) Beerbower (1784-1849), as was Eleazer John Beerbower (1815-1882), our direct ancestor.

Andrew’s parents moved the family to Lincoln Twp., Madison County, Iowa, about 1852, when Andrew was about nine. Andrew was 17 when war broke out, and enlisted in Company H, Iowa 23rd Infantry Regiment on 29 Aug 1862. Might this image have been one he had taken for a sweetheart or his parents before he went off to war? Possibly, but often those photos would be in full military uniform. Also, Iowa City was 150 miles from Andrew’s home.

The photo was not taken when he came home, as he did not make it home- he was killed at the Battle of Milliken’s Bend, in Louisiana, on 7 June 1863- his birthday per one account.

Andrew’s brother was Albert A. Beerbower- yet another candidate for the above picture. Albert was also born in Ohio, about 1845 or so. He married his first wife in Montezuma, Powesheik, Iowa. Looking at census records, we find an Albert Beerbower in the 1880 US Federal Census- in Iowa City! He was 35 that year though, so could this be his picture? (Have not yet found him in the 1870 census.)

At first glance, one last candidate is Albert W. Beerbower, born September 1888 in Iowa to Orange J. Beerbower and Jennie B. Beerbower. When one reads back that our photographer was only in practice from 1854-1874, we see that we can eliminate this particular Beerbower.

There were a lot of Beerbowers in Madison County, Iowa around these years, so there may be others, or the man in the picture could have been from another state entirely. Right now though, my wager is on Albert A. Beerbower being the proper identification of this photo- if he was found in the 1870 census in the same place, it would be a very plausible conclusion, and age 25 may be closer to his actual age when the portrait was taken.

The only way we will know the name of this young man for sure is by someone else having the same image and knowing who it is. We hope that one of our readers will be just that person, and contact us!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. I. A. Wetherby– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Augustus_Wetherby
  2. “Old Capitol” in Iowa, 1854 by I.A. Wetherby- Isaac A. Wetherby image of Old Capitol at the time of the 1854 Johnson County fair. The Capitol was in Iowa City, Johnson Co., Iowa until 1857 when it moved to Des Moines. https://secure.flickr.com/photos/shsi-library/5330254063/in/photostream/
  3. Wetherby Cottage– http://eventful.com/iowacity/events/photography-walking-tour-iowa-city-/E0-001-011629261-7
  4. History of Madison County, Iowa, and Its People, Volume 1. Herman A. Mueller, editor,  S. J. Clarke publishing Company, 1915, page 298. http://files.usgwarchives.net/ia/madison/bios/madbioa-c.txt

 

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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.
 
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Society Saturday: NYG&B and John and Phebe Sales

Johannes Vingboons - Image of Vinckeboons map at Library of Congress ([1]). Joan Vinckeboons (Johannes Vingboon), "Manatvs gelegen op de Noot [sic] Riuier", 1639, via Wikipedia, Public Domain.
Johannes Vingboons – “Manhattan located on the North River.” Image of Vinckeboons map at Library of Congress ([1]). Joan Vinckeboons (Johannes Vingboon), “Manatvs gelegen op de Noot [sic] Riuier”, 1639, via Wikipedia, Public Domain.
McMurray Family, Helbling and Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

“Hopefully, John Sales, a “Black Sheep” in 1633 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and his daughter Phebe, had a better life in New Netherland.”

Those were what I thought were words to finish up the saga of John and Phebe. However, the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B) has some articles in their NYG&B Record that mention John and Phebe, and I was finally able to gain online access to that article. So here are a few more tidbits about the family- some that answer questions in our previous posts, and some that flesh out the story a bit more.

Back in England, the parish registers of Little Waldingfield, Suffolk, England, included an entry for a marriage on 11 August 1625 of John Sales and Philip Soales.” Philip was a name used by women named “Philippa,” which is the feminine of Philip in Latin, the language used in the churches in those days.

John may have been older at his marriage than expected, (possibly not born ~1600) since his property was called “Old Jan’s Land” after his death in 1645- even in that time, 45 was not “old.”.

Those parish registers also included baptisms for “Phoebe Sales, daughter of John” on 1 May 1626, and for another daughter of John, “Sarah Seales,” who was christened 27 July 1628. No other mention of this family is made in these registers.

John Sales, his wife, and daughter Phebe did sail with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, as surmised in our first post. The wife is not named, nor was she listed as a member of the First Church of Boston when John was noted as #21. Wives were listed for some members, however, so this may indicate that she died on the voyage or shortly after landing in the colony. Little Sarah may have died while they were waiting to sail and not in their own parish, or even once on board, since she only has the one entry in the parish register.

In 1664, colonist John Greene made a transcript of the Charlestown, Massachusetts town records. He noted that John Sales stayed and became an inhabitant of Charlestown in1629- though it was actually 1630- his was listed as #13 out of the 17 names recorded. The transcript goes on to explain how the colonists were in such dire straits:

“The summer this year [1632] prooving short, and wett, or [our] Crops of Indian Corne (for all this while wee had noe other) was very small and great want threatened us…”

The transcript goes on to describe the crimes of John Sales, and that he was openly punished, all his goods were to be sold to pay restitution, and he would be bound to Mr. Coxeshall until the year 1636.

Phoebe was to be bound out until 1647, and, if the above baptism is indeed the same Phebe, she would have been 21 when she gained her freedom, along with a “cowe cafe” from Mr. Coxeshall. Becoming an apprentice was a way to protect Phebe while her father was bound out, and it would teach her a trade so that she would not follow in the criminal footsteps of her father. This action does lend credence to the idea that she had no mother living, nor siblings.

John Winthrop, the Governor of the Colony, gave some details in his writings concerning John running away to the Indians. Winthrop states that Sales ran away to “… a place twelve miles off, where were seven Indians, whereof four died of the pox while he was there.” John must have been immune to smallpox since he survived, but the Indians did not have immune systems strong enough to fight the new disease brought by colonists to their lands.

John and Phebe Sales were not the only Massachusetts Bay Colonists who wished to remove themselves from the strict communities of the Puritans. Others also left for New Netherland, and John is first found in those records in 1638. As “Jan Celes” he was given a lease or permission to live at a plantation north of a place later called Rutgers Swamp. This area became known as “Old Jan’s Land” and his son-in-law took possession of some of the land, in the midst of Manhattan, after John’s death.

Phoebe is listed with a variety of first names and a variety of spellings of her last name in the Dutch records, but she was married 11 February 1640 to Theunis Nyssen. Thus she would have been only about 14, which was legal in New Netherland at that time. She had at least seven children, and they lived in Gowanus, Flatbush, and Brooklyn. There are no known daughters named Philippa, which would have been the Dutch custom, to name a daughter after the wife’s mother. If Phebe’s mother had died when she was very young, as was earlier hypothesized, she might choose to forego the custom. She did have a daughter named Mary, however- possibly after her step-mother, Mary Roberts?

Of course, we wondered what life was like for John and Phebe in the Dutch Colony, and this excellent article in the NYG&BR gives us more information concerning their daily life. (Our Helbling-Springsteen ancestors lived in Dutch New York possibly in this time period, too, so this information can give us some context to their lives.)

Apparently, Jan Celes made a number of court appearances due to various conflicts with neighbors. The first of those was when Jan was called in for “damage which the defendant’s hogs have caused the plaintiff.” He also still had some legal dealings in Massachusetts, as on 28 December 1639 he gave a power of attorney to a man from New Plymouth, and it was noted that John was living on Manhattan at that time.

“The fiscal vs. old Jan Selis” was a court case recorded on 26 November 1643. Neighbors testified that “old Jan drove many cows and horses into the swamp” and that he had “cut the cow of little Manuel with a chopping knife.” He was required to pay a fine, pay damages to his victims, and court costs for “having chased and wounded cattle.” Jan was also told that if committed such a crime again, he would be banished.

What may often be dismissed as dry genealogy in society journals can really help us learn more about our family. These articles can add much context, as in the case of John and Phebe Sales and the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record (NYG&BR). These articles also give us an idea of how the investigation progressed to learn the facts of a life, something we all might be able to use when researching other ancestors. Some say that societies are dead in this age of the internet, but societies provide valuable information for all who pursue the stories of their family- or even, those crazy people who become entranced by the stories of other families.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “The True Identity of John Sales Alias Jan Celes of Manhattan” by Gwenn F. Epperson, New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 123, No. 2, Pages 65-73, April 1992.
  2. Additions and Corrections to “The True Identity of John Sales Alias Jan Celes of Manhattan,” New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 124, No. 4, Pages 226-7, October 1993.
  3. “Jan Cornelius Buys (Alias Jan Damen) and Teunis Nyssen (or Denyse) and Roelof Willemszen,” by John Reynolds Totten, New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 66, No. 3, Page 284, July 1935.

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2016 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. 
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Thriller Thursday: Elsie Janis and “That Fascinating Baseball Slide”

Elsie Janis (Beerbower) in the April, 1913 magazine, "Theatre"- 'At Home' section. There, Vol. 17, No. 146, Page 225, via Archive.org.
Elsie Janis (Beerbower) in the April, 1913 magazine, “Theatre”- ‘At Home’ section. “Theatre,” Vol. 17, No. 146, Page 225, via Archive.org.

Helbling Family, Beerbower Family (Click for Family Tree)

While some of our dear readers may not actually consider this to be a real thriller like some of the wild movies or tv shows that are out there today,  today’s post does at least have a “whodunnit?” component. And then there is the thrill of research, though sometimes gone too far… (maybe).

As has been mentioned previously on the blog, Elsie Bierbower (1889-1956) was the cousin of Anna May Beerbower (1881-1954), who married William Gerard Helbling. Anna May was the daughter of Edgar Peter Beerbower (1849-1916), while Elsie was the daughter of John Eleazer Bierbower (1858-1929). Elsie went by “Little Elsie” in her child-star years, and then used “Elsie Janis” as her stage name.

Elsie started her career in vaudeville and on the stage, but eventually added audio recordings and later movies. “That Fascinating Baseball Slide”- AKA just “Fascinating Baseball Slide,” was her first recording, in 1912.

Add for new Elsie Janis records in 1912, published in The Gazette Times (Pittsburgh, PA), page 7, column 6, via Google Newspapers.
Ad for new Elsie Janis records in 1912, published in The Gazette Times (Pittsburgh, PA), 28 December 1912, page 7, column 6, via Google Newspapers.

Those of us who grew up with piles of records alongside our turnables- actually called ‘record players’  at the time, ‘turntables’  probably later in the 70s- know that the name in parentheses under the title is the name of the songwriter. This record shows that Elsie wrote the song, as well as sang it with an orchestra.

Label from "Fascinating Baseball Slide" by Elsie Janis, 1912, via Library of Congress.
Label from “Fascinating Baseball Slide” a 10″ record by Elsie Janis, 1912, via Library of Congress. (Click to enlarge.)

A number of websites and other resources state that Elsie wrote the song.

Imagine the surprise when this result popped up in a search:

Copyright record for "That Fascinating Baseball Slide," in Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 3, Volume 7, Number 1, Page 484, via GoogleBooks.
Copyright record for “That Fascinating Baseball Slide,” in Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 3, Volume 7, Number 1, Page 484, via GoogleBooks.

I have been unable to find this song with Elsie as author, with or without the word “That” in the title, listed in the official copyright books printed by the government. (There were, however, many other entires of Elsie’s songs and screenplays in various government volumes.) The copyright of 20 April 1912 fits well with when the record was released, but finding a copy of the ‘Crescent music co.’ sheet music has been challenging. Additionally, finding H. S. Wittmaak in more than the copyright entry books has been unsuccessful. (Wittmaak did write other songs that were listed in the copyright books.)

Elsie was just 23 when this song came out, but she had been a huge star for many years. Did she really write “Fascinating Baseball Slide”? Or possibly she purchased the song from H.S. Wittmaak and paid for the right to list it as her own? Maybe she rewrote the song to some extent?

One more interesting tidbit- our leading picture shows Elsie sitting at the piano, reading sheet music. Surprisingly, in an article published in Liberty magazine later in her life, she stated that she did not know how to play the piano! She likely did know how to read and write music, however, if she was a songwriter and singer.

So that’s our “whodunnit”- hope you found it thrilling for this Thursday.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Hear the song “That Fascinating Baseball Slide” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84aPkozicqk
  2. Library of Congress version of song– https://www.loc.gov/item/jukebox.2903?#
  3. The song is also on a 2009 CD of Elsie’s music, called, “Sweetheart of the A.E.F.” by Archaeophone. It has 24 songs, including this one. Eight songs are also available on iTunes, as is one of her books and a movie that she helped write. The CD used to be on iTunes, but is no longer; I was surprised when the lyrics were noted as ‘explicit’- turns out some are racist, sadly- just FYI.
  4. Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. “Victor matrix B-12527. Fascinating base-ball slide / Elsie Janis,” accessed July 20, 2016, http://adp.library.ucsb.edu/index.php/matrix/detail/200012723/B-12527-Fascinating_base-ball_slide.
  5. “McCreery and Company- New Victor Records for January- Elsie Janis Records” in The Gazette Times (Pittsburgh, PA), 28 Dec 1912, page 7, via Google Newspapers–  https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=JBZRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F2YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5333%2C742293
  6. “Is Elsie Janis Guided by Her Dead Mother’s Voice?” Liberty Magazine, 28 November 1936, https://archive.org/stream/Liberty_v13n48_-_1936_-_MacFadden/Liberty%20v13n48%20-%201936%20-%20MacFadden#page/n13/mode/2up

 

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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 2013-2016 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 or use of our blog material.

Sorting Saturday: Taxes for “Theodore & Springsteen”

May, 1863 Excise Tax Record for "Theodore & Springsteen" of Indianapolis, Indiana. (Click to enlarge.)
May, 1863 Excise Tax Record for “Theodore & Springsteen” of Indianapolis, Indiana. (Click to enlarge.)

Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

Here is the Springsteen name again on a tax record from Indianapolis, Indiana, in May of 1863. This is an excise tax record for a company called, “Theodore & Springsteen.”  So who is the Springsteen in this entry?

The entry itself gives us a clue, as the company is listed as “Builders & Contractors.” From censuses and City Directories, we know that our Jefferson Springsteen was a painter by trade, but was also in law enforcement- in 1860 he was the City Marshall, and in 1860 was listed as a detective. His oldest son John was noted as a painter in 1870, as were sons Jeff and Charles; younger son Abe F. was listed as a brickmason. The boys were still young enough to be living at home, but could possibly have been in business with a partner since all practiced trades involved in the building industry.

Another option was Abraham Springsteen, Jefferson’s brother, since he was a brickmason. Checking an Indianapolis City Directory, we were able to find both Jeff and Abraham listed at their homes, but further in the directory was another entry that gave us the answer we were seeking:

Theodore & Springsteen, bricklayers & builders, as listed in the "Indianapolis directory and business mirror for 1861," via Archive.org.
Theodore & Springsteen, bricklayers & builders, as listed in the “Indianapolis directory and business mirror for 1861,” via Archive.org.

So know we know it most probably was Abram/Abraham Springsteen (1824-1895) that was in the partnership, since Abe F., nephew of Abram, was just 11 and heading off to war as a drummer boy.

A tidbit in a newspaper article also mentions the elder Abram:

“Abe Springsteen, the great North American contractor, returned yesterday from Muscatine, Iowa.”

So the evidence is highly suggestive of Abram Springsteen (the elder) being the partner of Thomas Theodore.

We haven’t discussed the taxes yet. ‘Theodore & Springsteen’ was listed as owing $25 for a Class B license, likely for their business. That would be the equivalent of $456.75 in today’s money.

Abram probably said a few choice words about the government hitting him up in May on his income, and then again at his business in June of 1863!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918, Ancestry.com Online publication, Provo, UT, USA. Original data – National Archives (NARA) microfilm series: M603, M754-M771, M773-M777, M779-M780, M782, M784, M787-M789, M791-M793, M795, M1631, M1775-M1776, T227, T1208-T1209.
  2. Abraham Springsteen mentioned in “About People” in the 29 June 1882 Indianapolis Sentinel, Vol. XXII, No. 185, p.3.

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2016 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. 
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Wedding Wednesday: Anna M. Beerbower and Edgar Peter Beerbower in the Springsteen Family Bible

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series The Springsteen Family Bible
"Memoranda," page 6 of the Springsteen Family Bible record pages. (Click to enlarge.)
“Memoranda,” page 6 of the Springsteen Family Bible record pages. (Click to enlarge.)

Helbling Family, Beerbower Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

We complete our series on the Springsteen Family Bible records with a sad and sweet piece of “Memoranda.”

Transcription:

Inds 9-12-1891

Anna M. Beerbower

Divorced from E. P. Beerbower

Sept. 12-1891 by Judge Harks

================================

Anna M. Beerbower & E. P. Beerbower

Remarried Dec. 26-1908, St. Charles, Mo.

 

These entries reference Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower, daughter of Jefferson and Anna (Conner) Springsteen, and her husband Edgar Peter Beerbower.

The family story is that “E.P.” Beerbower worked for the railroad, and would be gone for long stretches of time because of his job on the train. The story is that he also came home frequently without a paycheck- possibly due to a drinking or gambling problem or ?? per their granddaughter, Mary Theresa (Helbling) McMurray. Anna would have been left alone frequently, and would have needed to find a way to feed her 3 children. (Anna had 2 other children, one who only lived one day after birth, the other only about two months.) She had family nearby when they were living in Indiana, but after they moved to Illinois- they were in Urbana, Champaign, Illinois before November of 1885, and Cairo, Alexander, Illinois by 17 April 1887- she would have had to care for the family herself.

Less than three years after the death of their last son on the day after his birth, Anna was granted a divorce on 12 September 1891 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Son Robert W. was about 17, Edgar S. about 15, and Anna May just 10 years old. Anna Missouri moved to Indianapolis- probably to be near family- and was living with her sons Robert Warson Beerbower and Edgar Springsteen Beerbower in 1897, when she was listed as a widow in the Indianapolis City Directory. (Anna May was probably there too, but daughters would not have been listed i the city directory.)

By 1900 Anna and her three children had moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Could the move have been to be closer to E.P.? We do not know, and know of no other family in St. Louis but it was a railroad hub. As per the entry above, the two were remarried in 1908. A marriage record has possibly been found for the couple, although it is a hard to read. A marriage record for 28 December 1908 (2 days later than the bible entry) with the husband as “E P Beerbower” and the wife’s name “Mrs. Mae Clore” is in Ancestry’s Missouri Marriage Records 1805-2002 database. Interestingly, the record states that EP Beerbower was from Indianapolis, and “Mrs. Mae Clore” from St. Louis. The wife’s name on this record my have been copied incorrectly, as their granddaughter, who was very close to her grandmother who lived with them, did state that they had remarried, and lived together until EP’s death in 1916.

Don’t you just love happy endings?

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest.
  2. Missouri Marriage Record for EP Beerbowere and Mrs. Mae Clore: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=MOmarriages&h=100516

 

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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 2013-2016 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 or use of our blog material.