I found these two photos in an old oval frame at my mom’s house. I rescued them and the frame. My mom wants the top photo back, I think I’ll hand deliver it rather than mail it. But that bottom photo – I think I am going to repair the oval frame and display this photo in it. Estelle is my great grandmother. She was likely the person who hand painted these with oil paints. She left a wonderful legacy of photos. I am so grateful.
During Roots Tech there was a lot of buzz about FindMyPast’s new United States Marriages Collection. This collection currently contains 33 million records and will continue to grow.
When I got home I decided to peruse this new collection. You see, there is this elusive marriage record that my sister and I have been trying to find for years – 8? 10? The problem was we didn’t know where to look.
Well, guess what?
It had an index to that elusive marriage record. Seth Moffitt and Ester Brouillette. My third great grandparents.
Hot dog! It had a GS microfilm number and that film was already at BYU. So a few days later I went to the Family History Library at BYU and gave that microfilm a look. That pretty image up there is what I found.
I now know that they were married in Clinton, Iowa on 27 November 1858. I know who married them. I know when they got their marriage license.
Hopefully I can use those details to track down some more information.
Have you tried the new US Marriages Collection on FindMyPast? Give it a try for free through Valentines Day.
I was born 14 months before my great grandmother lost her battle with cancer. At the time of her death, I was her only great grandchild. I have no memory her, and yet her impact on my life has been significant. Among other things, she was a genealogist.
Long before the days of personal computers, genealogy programs, and the internet, my Grandma Duval worked to preserve her family history through her amazing photography and through several different typed records.
Grandma Duval had two children, my grandmother and a son. For each of her children she created a lovely little book about their family history. I say lovely, but the reality is that they are just a handful of typed sheets taped together at the top. Each book is about 12 pages and includes information for just a few generations. What makes them lovely is the information she included and the handwritten notes in various colors that she added over the years.
I ended up with both books in the collection of items my grandmother gave me. The last few weeks I have been corresponding with my cousin, a child of my grandmother’s brother, and am about to mail her the book created for her dad. Before sending it, I scanned each page.
As I scanned this sweet little book, I was once again overcome with emotion. I felt so much gratitude and love for my Grandma Duval. I am particularly grateful for her genealogical work. It’s from her records that I have found so many clues that have helped me understand the additional records I find. It’s from her notes and photos that I find that extra special something that helps me know my ancestors more personally. It’s because of the records she left that I knew where to look at all when I got started. I can’t wait to give her a big hug one day and say thank you for the treasures she left for me to find!
I have included just a few pages of the book my Grandma Duval made for her son. I blurred or removed the personal details about my great uncle to protect his privacy as he is still living.
I recently wrote about the unusual death of my 3rd great grandfather. I had hoped the death record might add some helpful information. I was able to find it on microfilm at the BYU Family History Library last week. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a let down. I suppose this record confirms that his cause of death was a skull fracture, that he died in the hospital and that he was buried in Momence. But, I already knew those details. I wonder if a record of ANY kind exists that might shed some light on the unusual circumstances surrounding Seth’s death? It looks like I have more stones to turn over!
Several years ago my sister mentioned that she had come across this newspaper article about our 3rd great grandfather Seth Potter Maffit. I recently acquired a digital image of the article which reads:
“DIES AT HOSPITAL
Old Resident of County Dies of Injuries.
Seth Maffit died at Emergency hospital Friday morning from injuries received on the railroad last Tuesday. Deceased was asleep on the C. & E. I. tracks from Papineau to St. Anne, when he was struck by a train which reported at St. Anne as having killed a man. A party sent back found Mr. Maffit lying on the right of way with one foot cut off, his skull fractured and covered with cuts and bruises. He was removed to Kankakee, but never regained consciousness. Deceased leaves six grown children. His sister, Mrs. John Plummer, resides on Maple street, this city, and a brother, Charles, is a farmer in Aroma township. He was 69 years old and well known in the eastern end of the county, where he resided many years. One of his sons is a physician, practicing in Chicago. He came to Kankakee on notification of his father’s case and had charge of the injured man.”
Hmmmm… Who sleeps on railroad tracks and why?
No matter the reason, what a terrible, painful way to die.
I am interested in the line that states he has six grown children. I only know of five. Newspaper mistake? Another child?
So far, this is one of the more unusual deaths I have found in my research. Anyone else have ‘death by train while sleeping on tracks’? 😉
Happy New Year!
I learned a long time ago that I am much more likely to achieve my New Year’s Resolution if I only choose one. I think it through and carefully select one DO-able goal that I think will have an impact on other areas of my life. They are usually simple goals like floss every day, write in my journal every day, take a shower and get ready for the day before my husband leaves (that goal was set after my youngest was born).
This year is no exception. I have chosen one loose resolution – I’m still working on defining it exactly.
Aside from my one New Year’s Resolution, I usually choose a few shorter term goals – goals in areas of my life that just need a bit of re-focus.
This year, one of those goals is about Family History.
In 2015 I have set the goal to post at least once each week on my blog. Because, posting about my genealogy experiences definitely improves them. I think things through more carefully if I write about them. I make connections with people. I learn from my readers. I attract distant cousins who always enrich what I know. I read what other people write about genealogy. Blogging about genealogy has been good and I want a little more good in my genealogy life.
So that is my genealogy goal for 2015 – at least one blog post on here each week.
I have a Genealogy Wish List for 2015 as well:
- Order the homestead papers for Henry and Alice Hyde.
- Order the homestead application for Frank and Alice Duval.
- Acquire the Estate record for Alice Hyde.
- Order the Civil War Records for Landrie Brouillette & Seth Potter Maffit.
- Make ANY kind of progress on John Costello – my great grandfather and SERIOUS brick wall.
- Make a decision on a DNA test/company and have John Costello’s two living sons (in their 80s) take the test.
- Buy a higher quality scanner.
- Finish scanning the many photos Grandma gave me.
- Clean out my hard drive.
- Buy Dragon Naturally Speaking (is that what it’s called?) and use it to transcribe the interviews I have recorded.
- Find someone to rescue the old cassette recordings my mom gave me to care for.
- Order a handful of the long list of English records I want. (Pricey)
- Resolve the conflict in Family Tree on familysearch regarding my James Young, my 4th great grandfather. This requires a surname study for the parish. Two James Youngs married two Janet Robertsons two years apart and each had a son James Young. Oy!
- Prove or disprove that Landrie Brouillette and Emilie Fortin are the parents of Esther Brouillette.
- Organize my family photos, documents, videos. Make backups.
- Participate in the 52 Ancestors challenge again. (No pressure, just when it fits in.)
- Join Daughters of Utah Pioneers.
- Attend RootsTech.
- Learn more about the Alaskan adventures of my family members.
- Visit BYU and the FHL in SLC more often.
I could keep going and going. But I know that setting ONE goal – writing one blog post each week – is DO-able and it will help me chip away at that big old list there.
So, how about it?
What is your ONE Genealogy goal for 2015?
I challenge you to set ONE goal and DIG IN!
PS – that super cool photo up there is my Great Grandpa Frank Duval. Here it is with the back of the photo too.
I originally posted this photo with the comment that I wasn’t sure if this was in fact my great grandmother Estelle. At the prompting of a reader I reposted the photo with some additional images to compare. In that post I listed facts and photos but did not share my thoughts.
You, my wonderful readers, all believe this image is in fact Estelle. Thank you for the input.
Now, my thoughts. When the photo loaded in the original post, I was surprised. It was the largest I had seen this photo so far and I was struck with how different Estelle looked from all of the other photos I have. Something about it reminded me of her older sister Hi.
Then, as I gathered other photos and looked at their faces carefully I drew the same conclusion that you all did. I believe this sweet photo is of Estelle. I think the things about her face that caused my initial surprise are the way her brows are scrunched and the roundness of her cheeks. The brows are likely scrunched because of sun. Her rounder face is probably attributable to her younger age, position of her head and the lighting. And of course, Estelle and Hi are sisters so they are bound to favor each other in different positions and settings.
Thank you for weighing in. And thank you Deborah for prompting me to share. It was a good exercise. I drew my own conclusion, kept it to myself and then got oodles of confirmation from each of you. Thank you all!
This small photo that I have loved well, will continue to be a treasure I can attribute to my great grandmother Estelle.