Saturday, October 12, 2019

Putting an Ancestor in Time and Place

I enjoy reading well-researched and well-written historical novels, especially when they take place at the times and in the places where my ancestors lived.  They open wide the door to life as it may have been lived with details about topics such as home-keeping, child-rearing, food preparation and diet, health, clothing, travel methods, care of animals and gardens, dealing with weather, not to mention manners and the interactions between family, neighbors, friends, and business associates/owners.  An excellent author of historical fiction will have researched these topics in old newspapers, books, journals, magazines, and any other available resources, including some of the records we family historians use:  census records; birth, marriage, and death records; wills; probate, property, other court documents, etc.  The excellent author strives for accuracy as s/he paints the picture of some specific time and place in the past.

But I don't envision my ancestors as characters in a book of historical fiction.  I see them as the lead characters in their own lives, lives lived with with purpose (even if the purpose was only survival), spunk, fervor, humor, stamina, determination, and often faith.

My interest in family history has always extended beyond names, events, dates, and locations.  I've been interested in getting to know about their lives, activities, and interests, as much as possible, and learning about the social and political environment of the times in which they lived.  Knowing details like these helps me avoid the pitfalls of assumption.  Non-fiction books about social history and specific topics pertaining to ancestors' occupations and interests often help fill in details about places they lived and newspapers can give local details, sometimes including information about specific individuals.

These are a few examples of errors in thinking I could have made had I not been aware of the customs, standards, and expectations contemporary to my ancestors.
  • My father ended his formal education with eighth grade.  By today's standards he might be considered a drop-out, but not so.  It was common practice in rural communities of the early 1920s to end formal education at that time.  My father was an intelligent man and I think part of his insistence that his children go to college was because he never had the opportunity and could see how beneficial it would be.
  • Ten of fifteen of my grandmothers born in the 1800s were married when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.  In today's culture, we would generally consider that too young to make such an important decision.  Had I not learned that it was common for young ladies to move from home to marriage at this age during the times in which they lived, I could have misjudged the situation.  Cultures and mores change over time.  (I will admit that I still marvel at the marriage of my great-grandmother, age 17, to my great-grandfather, age 35.)
  • One of my great-grandfathers died leaving a pregnant wife and six children.  The children were assigned a guardian by the court.  It would have been easy to assume my great-grandmother was not capable of caring for her children except for the knowledge that it was common practice for a guardian to be assigned in cases like this one.

There's lots I love about genealogy and family history:  the mystery of finding the next individual or family, finding as much as I can about him or her, the search and the sleuthing for documents, the satisfaction of having found an individual, tracking and recording the search and results.  I also love putting an ancestor in his or her time and place and learning details about both. 

This post was written for Amy Johnson Crow's 2019 version of 52 Ancestors.  The post topic for the week was "Context."

 –Nancy.

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A 600-Bushel Harvest

I knew the Doyles of Stoneboro, Pennsylvania, grew strawberries because both my father, Lee Doyle, and his half-sister, Tressa, mentioned them.  My father had little to say about that fact and seemed uninterested in strawberries.  My aunt had more to say:  "Strawberries are a lot of work."

I had no idea how large the Doyle strawberry patch was but I knew they hired people to help pick because one of my grand-aunts remembered earning a penny per quart to pick berries.  (U. S. Inflation Calculator tells me the value of that penny today would be 24¢.)

It wasn't until about two years ago, after I saw these postcards, that I had a broader sense of the quantity of berries the Doyles grew.  They didn't just grow strawberries, they sold strawberries.

Berries arriving Stoneboro Depot, from Doyle's Farm

June 23, 08.    Banner Week    600 Bus
Scene at Doyls [sic] Berry Farm  Stoneboro Pa.
Yes, caring for the berry plants that supplied 600 bushels of strawberries in one week would be a lot of work!

My parents attended Stoneboro's Centennial Celebration in 1967.  Not long ago I discovered the program my mom saved.  In it were poor copies of the above photographs and the account below.  The photos above are in reverse order to their descriptions below.
     William Doyle, a native of Cambois Colliery near Blythe, Northumberland, England, was owner of the farm, which employed many local citizens during berry picking time in late June and early July.  Many residents will recall picking berries for Mr. Doyle.
     The top picture, with a scene from the farm, notes the banner week of June 23, 1908, as producing 600 bushels.  Many local people are pictured, including Mr. Doyle and members of his family.  The man in the suit, white shirt, bow tie and hat is the "berry man" who came to the farm and made arrangements for shipping the berries.
     The bottom picture shows the produce arriving at the Stoneboro Railroad Station, in horse-drawn wagons, ready for shipments on trains to various points.  One of the destinations was Franklin, where a hotel maintained a standing order for the large "William-Belt" berries which were of such size that 18 filled a quart berry basket.  Among the men pictured at the station are the late George Proud, John Gustafson, John Berrisford, and Gust Doyle, son of William Doyle, the farm owner.

I think 600 bushels -- 19,200 quarts! -- is a lot of berries, but I still didn't have a sense of how large the strawberry patch was.  In a recent search of Google Books I discovered my grandfather, Gust, mentioned in Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 1916


Under "List of Nurseries Licensed" in Mercer County, is Augustus Doyle, Stoneboro, with 5 acres of berries or small fruit plants.  There is no family record of Gust growing any small fruit plants other than strawberries.

So let's think about size.  An acre measures 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet.  Gust had five times that:  24,200 square yards or 217,800 square feet.  I now hesitate to call what the Doyles had a strawberry patch. 

Next I wanted to know how many strawberry plants might grow in five acres of land.  Strawberry Plants.org gives me the following information. 
If there are 36" between the rows, and if the plants are planted
> 24" apart, there would be 7,260 plants/acre, equaling 36,300 plants on 5 acres.
> 18" apart, there would be 9,680 plants/acre, equaling 48,400 plants on 5 acres.
> 12" apart, there would be 14,520 plants/acre, equaling 72,600 plants on 5 acres.
However, if the rows are closer together, there will be more plants per acre.

These are my Aunt Tressa (Doyle) Wilson's memories of strawberry care on the farm.  By the time she was old enough to help with the plants, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the strawberry "patch" had decreased to two acres.  She wrote,
     In the spring the 2 acre patch had to be prepared for the strawberries we’d be planting for next year’s crop.  Strawberries were a lot of work.  After the plants started to grow – they had to be hoed to keep the soil away from the heart of the plant, to destroy the weeds, and to keep the soil mellow....  When the blossoms came out on the newly planted plants, we children had to pick off every blossom so the plants could use their strength to send out runners with little plants on.  As the new plants grew and formed roots we had to set the plants in line with the mother plant.  This was to keep them from being uprooted by the cultivator.
     By the time the new strawberry patch had been planted and taken care of with tender, loving care – the berries in the other patch were starting to ripen.  This meant more “back breaking” work.  The berries were picked and brought into the garage to be crated.  Each crate held 32 quarts [which equals a bushel].  After the berries were picked and crated they’d be taken by horse and wagon to the Rail Road Station downtown to be shipped to Franklin to be sold.  In later years we sold the berries to a man who took them to Pittsburgh by truck.  The berries had to be picked every other day.  We never got more than $4.00 a bushel for them.  As the season progressed the price kept dropping – like 3 quarts for a quarter.  The pickers were paid 1¢ (yes - 1 cent) a quart for picking.

Imagine tending 72,000 strawberry plants.  Oh my goodness, what a lot of work!  All by hand in those days.  I don't know what the average harvest of strawberries on the Doyle's five acres of strawberries was but isn't it sad that with all those wonderful, fresh strawberries, neither my father nor my Aunt Tressa liked to eat strawberries?

–Nancy.

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Using Tax Records and a Map to Answer A Question

My cousin's question was simple:  Do you know if Grampa owned the building where he had his barber shop?  Grampa is W. C. Robert Meinzen and the building was on Main Street in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, where he barbered for several decades in the mid-1900s.  I didn't know the answer.  I was the youngest of the grandchildren, not yet 10 when my grandfather retired, and it would have been highly unusual for the adults to carry on a conversation about property and finances within the earshot of children.

Though I didn't have a ready answer for my cousin I had an idea where I might find the information.  With any luck, FamilySearch's Trumbull County, Ohio, records might provide an answer.  I found tax appraisement records from 1931 and earlier but because the images are not indexed I needed to search year by year, page by page.  (For more about those records see previous post, County, Township, Range.)

Since this published collection of records ends in 1931, I needed to know what years my grandparents might have lived in the Ridge.  Census records told me that W. C. Robert and Emma Meinzen lived in Warren in 1920 and in Mineral Ridge in 1930.  With that information I guessed they may have moved sometime between those years and and that they may have purchased land before they moved.  (It was common knowledge in the family that Gramma and Grampa owned the home they lived in on Furnace Street, but I had no idea when they may have purchased it.)  I began a search of the 1931 records.

1910 Map of Mineral Ridge Village, Weathersfield Township, Trumbull County, Ohio
1910 Map of Mineral Ridge Village, Weathersfield Township, Trumbull County, Ohio

Wm. C. R. & Emma Meinzen paid taxes on the following properties for the years noted. 

1924-1931
  • Out-Lot/Block/Division 109, identified as S. M. Pt. in the box "All or part of lot and name of street."  I believe this was on Furnace Street.
1928-1931
  • Lot 7, Leitch Tract/Plat, with Fr. Pt Orchard Ct.  The lot size was 75.5 (along the street) x 63.52 feet deep. 
1931
  • Lot 187, Leitch Tract/Plat, with 184.14 feet fronting Morris Street

The map above and the enlargement of a section below come from FamilySearch's Tax Appraisements Mineral Ridge, 1910, published 14 years earlier than when my grandparents first purchased property in Mineral Ridge.  I've been unable to find a map closer to the dates of their purchases.

Section of 1910 map of Mineral Ridge, Ohio, showing Furnace and Morris Streets
Section of 1910 map of Mineral Ridge, Ohio, showing Furnace and Morris Streets

I see that Lot 109 is, indeed, on the north side of Furnace Street and is located where my grandparents' home was situated.  And Lot 187 on the south side of Morris Street is near where Emma's father, Edward Jesse Bickerstaff, built a home.  However, during the time I lived in the Ridge, decades after this map was published, there was no Maple Street running north from Furnace Street.

So my cousin's original question of whether Grampa owned the building where his barber shop was located will go unanswered until I have access to property records from 1931 through the late 1950s. 

But she had two other questions which I was able to answer as a result of these tax records and the 1910 map of Mineral Ridge:  When did Gramma and Grampa buy property in Mineral Ridge? and Where was the property on Furnace Street?  I'm thrilled the tax records helped narrow down the years of purchase and that the map gave the answers to the question about location, for both the property on Furnace Street and Morris Street.

I have yet to find Orchard Court on the 1910 map because, I suspect, it wasn't there until after that map was created.  And, of course, I'll want to learn whether Grampa owned the building where his barber shop was located.

This has been fun research, the results of which coincided with Amy Johnson Crow's 2019 version of 52 Ancestors' topic for this week:  "Map It Out."

--Nancy. 

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved.
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner.
.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

County, Township, Range

A township is a geographic area within a county.  A range is a group of townships.  I knew the township of the records I wanted to find in FamilySearch's collection, Ohio, Trumbull County, tax records, 1823-1931, but not the range.  I paged through the volumes for the year 1931 knowing I would eventually find the county of interest.  Had I known about ranges, I could have saved myself some time.  (To be fair to myself, I did a google search for "Trumbull County, Ohio, Township Ranges" and found nothing useful.)  At the end of this post I've included a few links about county/township/range for anyone who would like to know.

The Trumbull County volumes are organized by year, then by range (which is a "column" of townships from north to south within the county--see box below), then by township or other geographic area.  The property owners are listed alphabetically within each category.  As I paged through the volumes I noted the image numbers for the beginning and end of the townships, cities, villages, and towns.  I hope this information may be useful to others searching for Trumbull County ancestors.  Please note that while the years and volumes change, the townships in each range remain the same through the years. 

Below are Trumbull County, Ohio, ranges and image numbers (not page numbers) as found in the 1931 volumes for Trumbull County Tax Records at FamilySearch.

Trumbull County, Ohio, township ranges plus page index to 1931 Trumbull County Tax Records at FamilySearch https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9NZ-ZN8B?owc=Q64Q-7N2%3A1055416801%3Fcc%3D2065327&wc=Q64Q-WQN%3A1055416801%2C1062919403&cc=2065327
Note that the ranges are columns of townships,
with ranges numbered from east to west.
Range 1, Volume 1
  • Hubbard Twp   3-102
  • Hubbard Village   103-149
Range 1, Volume 2
  • Brookfield Twp   4-139
  • Hartford Twp   142-154
  • Orangeville USD   156-158   (United School District?)
  • Orangeville Village   160-165
  • Vernon Twp   167-175
  • Kinsman Twp   180-202
Range 2, Volume 1
  • Liberty Twp   3-122
  • Vienna Twp   123-146
  • Fowler Twp   148-160
  • Johnston Twp   162-176
  • Gustavus Twp   178-190
Range 2, Volume 2
  • Girard City   3-118
  • Girard JDW   123
  • Girard CSD   124-134  (City School District?)
Range 3 Volume 1
  • Weathersfield Twp   3-33
  • Weathersfield - Girard CSD   34-49
  • McDonald VSD   50-136  (Village School District?)
  • Niles CSD   137-228
Range 3 Volume 2
  • Niles City   3-155
  • McDonald Village   156-189
Range 3 Volume 3
  • Howland Twp   3-123
  • Howland CSD   126-127
  • Howland JSD Bazetta   129-141
  • Bazetta Twp   143-160
  • Bazetta JSD Champion   161
  • Cortland VSD   162-173 
  • Cortland Village   175-187
Range 3 Volume 4
  • Warren City (Howland Twp)   3-195
Range 4 Volume 1
  • Warren City-Warren Twp   3-200
Range 4 Volume 2
  • Warren Twp   3-159
  • Warren JSD Bazetta   160-183
  • Warren CSD   184-270
Range 4 Volume 3
  • Lordstown Twp   3-49
  • Champion Twp   52-116
  • Bristol Twp   118-134
  • Bloomfield Twp   136-150
Range 5 Volume 1
  • Newton Twp   3-209
  • Newton SSD   210-212
  • Newton Falls Village   214-274
Range 5 Volume 2
  • Braceville Twp   3-57
  • Southington Twp   59-71
  • Farmington Twp   73-85
  • West Farmington Village   86-93
  • Mesopotamia Twp   95-110

One interesting thing about these records is that there was no introduction in any of volumes explaining abbreviations.  I'm left wondering what JDW and SSD stand for and assuming that CSD is City School District; VSD may be Village School District; and JSD may be Joint School District.  Or maybe not.

Since working on this research I've tried to learn more about ranges, townships, and counties and found a helpful general resource at USGS's The National Map Small Scale website which explains the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) and it's origin, history, and organization.

I think Wikipedia's article, Public Land Survey System, gives an even more in-depth history and explanation.  It also has notes about the states with arrangements different than the 36, six-miles-on-each-side townships.  I learned that northern Ohio counties have 25 townships (arranged five by five) per county because
Ohio's Virginia Military District was surveyed using the metes and bounds system.  Areas in northern Ohio (the Connecticut Western Reserve and United States Military District) were surveyed with another standard, sometimes referred to as Congressional Survey townships, which are just five miles (8 km) on each side instead of six.  Hence, there are 25 sections per township there, rather than 36.

Trumbull County was originally part of the Connecticut Western Reserve.

Knowing about ranges in counties should make research easier the next time I look for property information for my ancestors.

–Nancy.

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Meinzen Cousins, The Bickerstaff Cousins

The Meinzen Cousins in Steubenville, Ohio, about 1927:  Back row: Gladys Hashman, Sid Harris, Audrey Meinzen (my mom)  Front row: Betty Harris, Doris Meinzen, Geraldine Meinzen, Bertha Harris
The Meinzen Cousins in Steubenville, Ohio, about 1927:
Back row: Gladys Hashman, Sid Harris, Audrey Meinzen (my mom)
Front row: Betty Harris, Doris Meinzen, Geraldine Meinzen, Bertha Harris
Above are some of the Meinzen cousins who lived in Steubenville.  Despite living nearly a day's drive from Mineral Ridge,  the cousins seemed to be good friends who enjoyed each others' company when together.  Audrey, Doris, and Geraldine are sisters and Betty and Bertha are sisters.  Dresses were worn for play during my mother's childhood but with the girls wearing all white, they were probably dressed for some occasion, perhaps church or Sunday School.  Sid, in the back row, was always a tease, even as an adult.  Good chance he'd made a joke or comment a moment before the camera snapped the photo.  He does not seem to be dressed up with his flat cap and his sleeves rolled up.  Could the girls have attended a Saturday birthday party?

Most of the Bickerstaff cousins lived in or around Mineral Ridge.

Bickerstaff Cousins in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, about 1925
The Bickerstaff Cousins in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, about 1925.
Most of these children I cannot identify but may be able to with a little research.  In the middle row,
second and third from left are Emma Bickerstaff and Audrey Meinzen, my mom.
I chuckle when I look at the photo above.  It was a great attempt to get cousins of a wide age range together for a photo but six of the little ones in the first row seem more interested in other things than facing the camera.  Still, there they are.  I know whoever was around when the photo was taken was able to identify those little ones but sadly, the information was not passed along with the photo.


Bickerstaff Cousins in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, about 1929
Bickerstaff Cousins in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, about 1929.
The child front row, second from the left is Pauline Meinzen, my mom's youngest sister.
In the middle row, the girl on the right may be Doris Meinzen, Mom's 2nd  youngest sister.
Above are more Bickerstaff cousins.  I think they may have been a rowdy bunch when more than two or three were together.  The little ones in the front are attentive, as are the children in the middle row, but those kids at the back....  They look like they're ready to make their mark in the world.  The boy in the center, with a smile on his face, seems to be ready to take a punch at someone, perhaps joking with the photographer.  And the mark on the face of the girl, standing on the right, is not a mark but is, indeed, something hanging from her mouth.  Could it be a hand-rolled cigarette or a small cigar.  Take a look for yourself by clicking on the photo to enlarge it.

In my own family, there were eight of us cousins.  Sadly, I don't believe there's a single photo with all of us together.  It would have lots of cousins living nearby.

This post was written for Amy Johnson Crow's 2019 version of 52 Ancestors.  The post topic for the week was "Cousins."

--Nancy.

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved.
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner.
.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

When It Seems Easy You May Be Making a Mistake

When I was in the early stages of family history research, my great-great-grandfather John Froman had been a source of interest for a few years.  My line to him goes through my father's father's maternal line.  There were few family records other than his name, his wife's name, and the names of some of their children.  Prior to the 1860 U.S. Census and after the 1870 U.S. Census, the trail went cold.

And then I found a passenger list!


Eureka!  Not only had I found John/Johannes, I'd also found his siblings, Maria, Anna, Elisabeth, Heinrich, Caspar, and Christiane, AND his father, Werner Frommann!  There they were all listed together on a passenger list, all coming from the same place, all headed to the same place.



What luck, on a single passenger list!  I was thrilled.

Just as I was about to enter these individuals in my genealogy program I had the sudden impression that just maybe Werner Frommann was not Johannes's father, and that maybe the other individuals were not Johannes's siblings, and possibly this might not be my John Froman.  I made a split-second decision that it would be wise to do more research on these individuals and, thereby, avoid the possibility of a sad mistake based on assumptions.

I haven't worked on this line for a number of years but when I last researched, I was unable to find any other information about Werner Frommann in the U.S. or most of the others in this group (other than John/Johannes).  When I return to the family in the future I'll search for them in U.S. records to try to document a relationship.

These days, when I find a record for an ancestor, especially if it has other family members on it and little other information, I remember this ship's passenger list and my readiness to assign family relationship where none are indicated.  I caution myself that one document is probably not be enough and that when it seems quick and easy, I may be making a mistake by assuming too much.

This post was written for Amy Johnson Crow's 2019 version of 52 Ancestors.  The post topic for the week was "Mistake."

--Nancy.

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved.
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner.
.

Jacob Meinzen's WWI Draft Registration Card

My grand-uncle, Jacob I. Meinzen, and my grandfather, Robert Meinzen, both filed World War I Registration Cards in two different cities in Ohio on the same day, though possibly not in the same year.  The year is not noted on Jacob's card.  I probably shouldn't assume it was filed in 1917 but I believe it was based on the fact that the other cards in the "34-4-7 A" group in Steubenville were dated 1917.

Less than a year before he filed this draft registration, Jacob married Sudie Coss, and less than four months after this registration he died in an accident at work.

The image of this document comes from FamilySearch's collection of World War I Draft Registration Cards.  Below the image is a transcription.


[Illegible words]  [Handwritten] 240     REGISTRATION CARD     No. 1509
 1  Name in Full   Jacob I. Meinzen      Age, in yrs.   23
 2  Home address   312 S. Lake Erie Ave  Steubenville  Ohio
 3  Date of Birth   Dec 15 1893
 4  Are you (1) a natural-born citizen   Natural born
 5  Where were you born?   Steubenville, Ohio  U.S.A.
 6  If not a citizen...
 7  What is your present trade, occupation, or office?   Pipe Fitter
 8  By whom employed?   La Belle Iron Works      Where employed?   Steubenville Ohio
 9 Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, solely dependent on you for support? (specify which)?    Wife and Child
10  Married or single (which)?   Married    Race (specify which)   [blank]
11  What military service have you had?   none
12  Do you claim exemption from draft (specify grounds)?   [blank]
I affirm that I have verified above answers and that they are true.
[Signature]   Jacob I. Meinzen

REGISTRAR'S REPORT        34-4-7 A  [stamped at top]
1  Tall, medium, or short (specify which)?   Medium      Slender, medium, or stout (which)?   Medium
2  Color of eyes?   Blue      Color of hair?   Brown      Bald?  No
3  Has person lost arm, leg, hand, foot, or both eyes, or is he otherwise disabled (specify)?   No
I certify that my answers are true, that the person registered has read his own answers, that I have witnessed his signature, and that all of his answers of which I have knowledge are true, except as follows:  [blank]

Fred R Shuratt  (Signature of registrar)
Precinct   1st A. [?]
City or County   Steubenville
State   Ohio.      (Date of registration)   June 5 [1917?]

This document came to my attention as the result of a FamilySearch campaign for World War I draft registrants.  They suggested another dozen or so, some not as closely related as my grandfather and his brother.  Thank you, FamilySearch, for helping me find more low-hanging fruit on the family history tree. 

–Nancy.

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved.
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner.
.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Low-Hanging Genealogy "Fruit"

I've picked a little low-hanging genealogy fruit this week.  World War I draft registration cards were not available online when I was searching for information about my grandfather and his siblings 10 or 12 years ago and I hadn't thought of looking for them until FamilySearch sent me an email with hints.  This record turned up in one of the hints and I was pleased to see it. 

The card gives Grampa's name as Robert Meinzen, the name he most commonly used during his lifetime, but his full name is William Carl Robert Meinzen.  As a child I remember thinking Grampa was tall -- he was probably one of the taller men I knew when I was little at perhaps 6' tall.  I don't believe I ever noticed that his eyes were grey.  The only other information that's new to me is his address and the name of his employer.  June 5th, the day he registered, happens to be his oldest daughter Audrey's birthday.  Grampa did not serve in World War I.

This is his draft registration card with a transcription below.


Form 1   [Stamped] 2531     REGISTRATION CARD     No. 141    1663 [circled at top of card]
 1  Name in Full   Robert Meinzen      Age, in yrs.   25
 2  Home address   123 E. Mkt  Warren  Ohio
 3  Date of Birth   Feb. 8 1892
 4  Are you (1) a natural-born citizen   Natural born
 5  Where were you born?   Steubenville, Ohio  U.S.A.
 6  If not a citizen...   Citizen
 7  What is your present trade, occupation, or office?   Barber
 8  By whom employed?   David Herlinger      Where employed?   31 Main Street  Warren  O
 9  Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, solely dependent on you for support? (specify which)?    Wife & Child
10  Married or single (which)?   Married    Race (specify which)   Caucasian
11  What military service have you had?   None
12  Do you claim exemption from draft (specify grounds)?   Yes  Married Have Children
I affirm that I have verified above answers and that they are true.
[Signature]   Robert Meinzen

REGISTRAR'S REPORT        34-1-17-A  [stamped at top]
1  Tall, medium, or short (specify which)?   Tall      Slender, medium, or stout (which)?   Medium
2  Color of eyes?   Grey      Color of hair?   Lt Brown      Bald?  No
3  Has person lost arm, leg, hand, foot, or both eyes, or is he otherwise disabled (specify)?   No
I certify that my answers are true, that the person registered has read his own answers, that I have witnessed his signature, and that all of his answers of which I have knowledge are true, except as follows: 
[rubber stamped] 37-3-27 A
S. H. Perkins (Signature of registrar)
Precinct   4A
City or County   Warren
State   Ohio      (Date of registration)   6 / 5 –1917
[Typed or Rubber Stamped:] 
Local Board for Div.
No. 1 for the
County of Trumbull
State of Ohio
Warren, Ohio

The only uncertainty about this record is whether the address shown in #2 is "123," "423," or "923."   There's a shadow on the left of the 1 which  makes me wonder.  (If you want to look closely, click the photo to enlarge it.)

Though the information on this card isn't critical to my family history research I'm pleased to add it to my grandfather's other records to make a more complete picture of him.  Low-hanging fruit is such fun to find now, after having researched for a decade. 

–Nancy.

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Family History Conversation with My Granddaughter

I love this conversation I had with Little O almost a year ago when she was not yet five.  We were headed somewhere in the car with her in her car seat in the back and me at the steering wheel.

We were just chatting about this and that when she turned the conversation to families and family relationships.  Her mom had just had a baby a few weeks earlier.  She told me there were six people in her family now:  her mom and dad, her three brothers, and herself.  Little O continued, saying that "Papa" and I were her mom's mom and dad and that her other grandparents were her Dad's mom and dad. 

I asked her who else she knew in our family.  She said, "Aunt BeBe."

I asked, "How is Aunt BeBe related to you?"

I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw her little index finger pointing skyward for emphasis as she said, "Well, I do know that Aunt BeBe is my mom's aunt."

I told her, "Well, actually, Aunt BeBe is your mom's sister."

"Nooooo" she said with absolute disbelief.

"Yes," I said, "your mom is Aunt BeBe's older sister."

She was quiet for a minute as if processing this new information, trying to fit all the pieces together yet still doubting it could be correct.  Then she asked, "Who was Aunt BeBe born of?" 

"Aunt BeBe was born to me, just like your mom was born to me.  They are both my daughters, and your mom and Aunt BeBe are sisters."

Again, her response was one of disbelief.  She was quiet for a while -- a weighty topic for a girl of four -- and then moved the conversation away from family relationships.  Later that day I started to make her a little family tree chart but decided she was probably just a bit too young for it to make much sense. 

How I love that girl!  I still chuckle when I think of her confident statement, "I do know that Aunt BeBe is Mom's sister" and her mature and old-fashioned question, "Who was Aunt BeBe born of?"  What four-year-old uses that phrase these days?!  Who of any of us uses that phrase these days?!

I'm not quite sure that she has the relationship sorted out in her mind yet -- or believes it -- but she'll understand it one of these days.  Perhaps Little O will become our next family history buff.

–Nancy.

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day

My father taking a well-deserved, late afternoon break.
I believe he was the hardest-working man I have ever known!
There was a time in America when laborers worked long hours with little time for rest and less time for recreation.  They were often at the mercy of their employers concerning their wages and hours of employment.  Thank goodness things began to change when, in 1894, Labor Day became a federal holiday.

My ancestors, both men and women, worked long, hard hours, each with his and her own role in the family, each contributing to keep the family afloat and successful.

Most of the males among my ancestors were what would be called blue collar workers today, though the phrase didn't exist during their times.  They worked in coal mines, steel mills, and on farms.  They were carpenters, carriage builders, coal miners, farmers, and a barber and electrician, among other occupations.  Some earlier ancestors were self-employed and not dependent on others for wages, but on the work they did and the character they built as honest workmen providing quality goods.  

Most of the women among my ancestors labored keeping a home, raising children, making sure there was healthy food on the table and plenty preserved in the larder; tending sick children; and doing a myriad of activities to make a safe and comfortable home for their families.  A few of my female ancestors worked outside the home.  One grandmother was a midwife, on call as needed; another worked in a bakery to earn tuition for her daughter to attend college; one worked as a milliner before she married; and my mom worked as a nurse before children came.  Few records exist that tell me occupations of my foremothers other than "keeping home." 

By example my parents taught us children a good, solid work ethic.  They also taught us to work by practice:  there was plenty of work we were required to do, and do it well.  No ne'er-do-wells in our home!

Happy Labor Day!

–Nancy.

Copyright ©2019, Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...