Sunday, October 27, 2013

Looking for Virginia Tutt

Virginia Tutt, who is she and where did she come from and go?  Virginia, I learned quite some time ago, was my fathers first wife from 1943 to 1952.  As mentioned, Virginia was once part of the family and oral family history mentions there might be children.  So, I've been interested in finding out if I have siblings out there unknown to me or not.  In researching Virginia, I've found many facets of her life a mystery because of  incomplete records, no records or misinformation on the record.  These issues aren't unique to Virginia's research at all.  Its actually quite common to have incomplete data recorded on the many records that shadow our lives.

Tracing Virginia through genealogy records has been a bit of a challenge as I didn't have enough information about her in the first place and very little to make any concrete connections with records found, so nothing much beyond the information I had at hand.  I started the search with what I had; a marriage and divorce documents, of neither had a lot of information, but it was a start.

Virginia married William Reynolds in 1943 Lincoln Nebraska.  The record offered some hints such as; Virginia's date of birth, which is about 1914. This proves later not to be the case.  Also, this was Virginia second married.  Again not the case.  The record indicates that Virginia's parent were Berl Tutt and Nellie Murphy of Illinois.  The record also gave up the name of Virginia's previous marriage surname of Rhodes.

You would think the above was enough information to continue researching Virginia, but it proved a bit difficult as the data was not accurate and left many questions during the search.  For example Virginia's fathers name was Bert not Berl.  Actually, his name was Gilbert.  So, searching for a Berl Tutt and variation was not profitable.  Lots of records, but nothing making a solid connection for me.  If you have read any of my other genealogy post, I have a rule of three.  I need to have at least three solid connections to a record before I will accept it.  Some will say that's a bit picky and others will say not picky enough.  For me, it has worked out as I have made no connections that later proved wrong and caused me to back up.

The next record to investigate was the divorce document between Virginia and my father in 1952.  Nothing there to help this research.  Interestingly however, it was my mother that filled the petition of divorce for my father in Washington state of which she lived.  No indication of Virginia's where abouts was noted on this document.  The research at this point peters out, though I have revisited it a few times over the years, nothing more have I found to progress the search for Virginia.

Yesterday, I have received a hint that moved the research along.   The hint was Virginia's middle name and believe it or not that clue was enough open a few doors and solidify some records.

First, I discovered Virginia's first marriage, then a 1910 census for Chicago Illinois, then another marriage and a 1940 census for California.  The 1910 census records Virginia with her parents in Chicago Illinois at the age of one. The census also provides a name correction for Berl Tutt to Gilbert Tutt.  Gilbert is a clerk in the Dry Goods industry.  Virginia is recorded as being born in Wyoming.  Thus far, the family was in Illinois prior to Virginia's birth and after.  So, for me Wyoming as a birth place is a question mark!  I wonder if Nellie gave birth during a vacation trip to Wyoming or some other place west.

The first marriage for Virginia was to a Herbert Rhode in Jun 1931 Washington D.C.  Then, in November 1937 she remarries to a James Howard in LA California.  I must say, Virginia sure did a lot of traveling in her time.  In the 1940 census, Virginia is still listing herself born in Wyoming, she is living with her husband James, mother Nellie Tutt and a daughter; Gloria.  Gloria is eight years old and was born in Washington D.C.  Doing the math, Gloria is a product of Virginia's first marriage to Herbert.

These discoveries opened the door to yet more hints and more possibilities, but nothing more on Virginia after the 1952 divorce.  So, I still don't know if any children were produced during the years marriage to my father or to where Virginia got off too!

Where did the hint of Virginia's middle name come from in the first place.  Well, yesterday, my older sister who is also doing genealogy research told me about a very recent contact by one of Virginia's half-sisters; Janet. I should mention that my sister had already made some progress in her research of Virginia that made possible the this contact from Janet.  Thanks Phyllis!

Fingers crossed more hints to come......

UPDATE:  More information has been found and some shared by an anonymous commentator.  So, a follow up blog will post soon about the Vampire of Chicago!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Photo Website

Hello to all my friends and family!

I am happy to announce my first attempt at selling a few of my photos I've taking around the farm and state. Please visit and please share the link with others. Visit often as I will be posting more photos.

I would appreciate your visit and the sharing of the site with your friends.
You can find my site at, My Prairie Home Photography

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fermented Green Tomato Pickles

Canning project today!  I'm pickling green tomatoes the old fashion pickling way; Fermentation.  It's a salt brine method of pickling!  No pressure cooking or hot water baths.
  Fermented foods and drinks are quite literally alive with flavor and nutrition.  Their flavors tend to be strong and pronounced. Think of stinky aged cheeses, tangy sauerkraut, rich earth and smooth sublimes wine..  Human have always appreciated the distinctive flavor resulting from the the transformative power of the microscopic bacteria and fungi.  One major benefit for fermentation is that it preserves food.  The fermentation organisms produce alcohol, lactic acid and acetic acid, all "bio preservation" that retain nutrients and prevents spoilage. -Wild Fermentation

Here is my ingredients;

1 cup Salt (sea salt or canning) *
Fermented Green tomato pickles
1 gallon of water.
Peppercorns *
Green tomatoes

Thoroughly mix the salt and water together dissolving the salt completely.  Do no use city water, it has chlorine, which will kill the good bacteria.

I'm using quart jars instead a crock and stone. Wash jars and vegetables.

Chop up the onion and garlic into bit size pieces.
Cut the stem end off the tomatoes to remove the stem and to provide access for the brine.

Place Dill, Garlic, Onion and Peppercorns in the bottom of the jar.  Pack the remain items in as tight as you can.  Leave enough space for brine and a headspace.   If items are floating, pack in spinach to create a cap over the floating vegetables. This will be a good enough to be a barrier to keep the item submerged.

Pour in the brine leaving a bit of a headspace and then screw on the lid.  Don't screw on the lid so tight that developing pressure can't escape.  Let the jars stand for a few days to a week in a warm room.  Taste tests after a few days will give you an idea on their progress.  Once to your liking what you are tasting, into the refrigerator or cold roots cellar to stop the fermenting action and storage.  They should last a year, if not eaten first, for about a year.

* Not grown at Prairie Home Farm

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Be the Bee

Male flower
This past spring my pine trees and many others around the area were covered in hard working honeybees that belong to commercial keepers.  However, since about mid July or so I've notice very little honeybee activity on any flower around my property, well other than the Sweet Clover.  In the garden only a few bumble bees working the tomato plants, but no bees in my pumpkin patch.  And as we all know, no pollinators, no pumpkin or other fruits and vegetables for the that matter!
Female flower

By August 1st, I should have pumpkin of many sizes growing on the vine, but not a one.  So, I started pollinating the pumpkins myself and with the promise of a warm September I should get a few pumpkins. Here is how to be the Bee!

Make sure you have both a female and male flowers freshly opened.  Best time to check is early morning, as they close by mid morning! The pumpkin will always produce more male than female flowers.  Sounds familiar! Now, cut or pinch off one of the male flowers at the stem from a different vine if possible.  Peel off the yellow pedals and stuff them into your mouth for breakfast.  You are now left with the stem and stamen.
Ready to go!

Relocate the female flower and gentle rub the stamen around the stigma of the female flower.  Again, sounding familiar!  That's all there is too it! Checking back in a day or two, one should see the developing pumpkin.

I leave the Stamen next to the female flower to mark the deed has been done!

Unopened female flower

You can always tell days prior to the flower opening up which is a female flower and which is not.  A female flower will have a bulge between the flower blossom and the stem. The female flower will also be closer to the vine.  Where as the male flowers will stand tall above the vine.   Once pollination has taken place, the bulge is the new pumpkin.  If pollination doesn't take place, the bulge will yellow and fall off the vine.  Honeybees and Bumble bees are great pollinators for your pumpkins and squashes.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cucamelon in a Minnesota Garden

This years new plant to try was the Cucamelon. This melon was found in Mexico and Central America and was an annual crop long before Europe found this part of the world. The Cucamelon has many names it is known by; Mouse Melon, Mexican sour gherkin to name a few.

My garden is in zone 3a NW Minnesota, so I need to make sure that all changes of a freeze was gone, which in Minnesota does exist really. So, I waited for the first of June to start this melon from the south. It was very slow to germinate, so slow I almost gave up on it. We have a warm summer but melon was slow to climb up and start producing. Up to this point I have picked a few here and there to try fresh, a few more to add to a spinach, purslane and red lettuce salad, but never enough to more than that. They taste, to me, like a mild cucumber, but no noticeable hit of seed or bitter rind.

Today, 1 Aug 13, I was able to gather enough to try pickling them. I am using a bottle half filled with Dill
pickling juice and spices. I know that's not traditional, but why waste the Dill vinegar water? So, after
washing the melons and picking off the spent blossom into the picking juice then went. I will try one or two of the melons in a week or so and report back. I must say, if the pickled melons aren't fantastic, I will not grow this plant again, its to slow and cucumbers taste better fresh.

In the meantime while you are waiting for my above mentioned report, check this article from Mother Earth News.

Update: Aug 24, 2013, An update on the Cucamelons! A central America plant that looks like a miniature Watermelon, that taste like a cucumber with a hint of lime.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, this plant is slow to start and a slow grower up here in the NW of Minnesota. However, come the end of August, they are now growing and producing well. A few weeks back I pack a fair amount it to a pickle jar that was full of dill pickle juice. A taste yesterday was just OK! I have since, yesterday, packed them in a salt water brine to try the fermented method;

To this point I have enjoyed this plant more for its novelty than its production or flavor. I might not grow this plant again next year. I will wait for the final taste test for the fermented pickling. Stay turned and I report back in a few weeks on the final outcome.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

McLeese in the Heaney House

Recently, I found a Neil McLeese with a 1953 connection to Agnes McComb of 557 Chelmsford Massachusetts.  The connection was a U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 form, which listed Agnes McComb as the point of contact.  The house on Chelmsford street was the home to William Heaney prior to his move to 60 Cosgrove street Massachusetts in the 1920.  Many of William's family, children and siblings, lived at this house one time or another. So, who is this Neil McLeese and how is he connected to the family, if at all? Well, I know he is some how connected for he shares a given surname of another before him and the previously mentioned connection to Agnes.  But, how is the question?  These questions opened up some more research and discovery into my family tree.
U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers
Click me

First, let's discover a little of  what is known about the Heaney and McLeese lines. The McLeese name comes from Ireland as many of my ancestors did and this is where I find that a McLeese has married into the Heaney family.  My great great grandfather John Heaney and Ellen McLeese started their marriage in 1845 Antrim County, Ireland prior to coming to the states in the 1870's. After finding out Ellen Heaney was a McLeese, which added a new name to the tree, I naturally became interested in finding out more.  Well, believe it or not, Ellen's father is a Neil McLeese, my 3x great grandfather, but I am sure the Neil I am seeking is not my great grandfather, for he didn't come to the states, as far as I know,  and if he did, he would be well over a 100 years of age in 1953. Not impossible, but I doubt it!

Click Me
So, the question remains!  How does this Neil McLeese connect to the my tree.  The story starts to unravel with the discovery of two pieces of information; an obit for Neil in the Lowell Sun newspaper 1953, in which reveals a little about Neil's military time and his final resting place.  And a copy of Veteran's Compensation Application stating that Neil was name after his mother's father; Neil McLeese my 3x great grandfather.  Neil's mother is Sarah McLeese and father James Jinkins.

Veteran' Compensation
Click Me
In June of this year I requested some information from the Edson Management Cemetery management office in Lowell Massachusetts about Neil.  Yesterday, Aug 13 2013, I  received information back from the Edson staff that relieved the connection to the family.

Update:  Neil's relationship trace to Agnes;  Neil's mother is Sarah McLeese who is sister to Ellen McLeese Heaney,  who is the mother to Annie Heaney McComb, who is the mother of Agnes.  So, they are cousins and both 1x cousins 2x removed to me.

Neil McLeese resting in McComb's family plot in Edson Cemetery, Lowell MA.

Neil McLeese served in the U. S Army K 5 Infantry from 1900 -1903.  This unit seen active duty in the Philippine, though Neil's records indicate no time served in any fire fight.

Rest in Peace

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

New Arrivals

Follow along with me as we discover new arrivals here at Prairie Home Farm.  Last evening I took three large planted strawberry pots to the garden to get watered. I got the strawberries at a greenhouse that had everything on sale... Anyways, as I was watering the strawberries and started on the rest of the garden, Trish joined me and we started chatting about this and that!  Soon, I heard hissing and knew it to be one of the geese.  So, I looked for the geese and they all were gathered around a water bucket, taking on water.  Well, except for Bubba G who was all puffed up, wings spread to it's full six feet plus, head high but looking at the ground hissing.  So, I knew something was up and my first thought was one of the Buff Oprington chicks got out of their pen.  Naturally, I stopped my watering and walked over to the location of the fuss and here it was a chick, but not the Oprington I thought it to be.  No, rather is was a day old Guineas chick and it was lost for none of the adult Guineas were near by.  I scooped up the little fellow before the geese could do anything harmful and looked about for the hen Guinea...but she wasn't to be found.  Trish took the little new born to the house for protection and to give me time to come up with a plan on raising one Guinea chick.  The chick did good in the house all night, but this morning I need to either find the hen, or put the chick with the older Oprington chick (not a great plan) or get the brooder ready again,which is the better plan, for Guineas, at these, are not good at mothering.   So, this morning I am out opening all the doors to the coop, releasing the geese from their pen, let the dogs to their patrols and throwing down some cracked corn for a bit of a morning treat.   All the birds, geese, turkeys, chickens were excited about the corn, but not the Guineas.   The Guineas were hanging at  the tall grass edge minding their own business when I noticed the hen with her winged out a bit housing chicks.  Here she has eleven chicks with her, so in all twelve.  Very cool!  Again, these Guineas are have not been good mothers, so I gathered up four chicks to put with the one I already had.  These five I will raise and the hen can have the rest.  The hen has already lost one chick and will loose more as the summer progresses.  But, the five in the brooder will make through to fall.

After putting the four chicks in the brooder, I grabbed up the camera to capture some more images of the family group!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Whitfields in Illinois

Frank E Whitfield
Follow along with me as I try to argue the connection for my maternal great great grandparents; John and Margaret Whitfield to newly found records.   Let's start with what we know.

  John Whitfield according to 1870 US census was, born about 1825 in England, living in Newark, Kendall Co., Illinois with wife;  Elizabeth Whitfield who was also born in England about 1837.  At this point we do not know Elizabeth's surname.  Along with John and Elizabeth are sons; Charles J., Alfred W. and Frank E Whitfield, all born in somewhere Illinois .  Charles was the first born about 1858, then came Alfred about 1859 and the Frank 1862.   The family is living comfortably as John is a Miller with a sizable amount of personal wealth on hand at the census taking the property is said to be of some value.  With our Whitfield family lives a young woman as a domestic servant; Isabella Gullickson age 16 from Norway.  So, the family seems to be doing quite well on a Millers income and in the 1870, don't you think?

1870 US Census Newark Illinois
  In the ten years that follows, not much is to be found until the 1880 US census, where we find Elizabeth is living in her sons Charles home in Hobart Indiana   Also in the house are brothers Alfred and Frank.  Charles is a school teacher, mother Elizabeth is keeping house and the two brothers employment is unknown.

  What happened to John Whitfield?  To this point his whereabouts are unknown!

  Charles J Whitfield at some point relocated to Chicago Il., where he meets and marries Artimisia Headley.  They wed on 3 Mar 1887 in Chicago and remained in Chicago for the rest of their lives.  To the best on my knowledge there were no children born to this couple. Charles and Artimisia are enumerated in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 US census, but only Artimisia in the 1930 census.  So, what happened to Charles and when?  In the 1930 US census Artimisia is living with a friend in Chicago, but I can't find her in the 1940 census.  I had no more leads at the time.   A little more about Artimisia Hedley.  Both her given and surname are misspelt numerous times on different documents, but the misspell are close enough to follow.  An example is; Hedley or Hadley or Headley.  Another example is Artimisia's given name was recorded as Artemisia and Martemisia.  These misspells are due to accents, ones hearing and/or spelling abilities.

3 March 1887
  Alfred W Whitfield whose middle name is William, lucky guy,relocates to Ohio where his is a Telegraph Operator.  I bet he had stories that would have been great to read.  Alfred meets Etta Shisler and marries in 1898.  Alfred and Etta had just one child, Lena G Whitfield.  Alfred and Etta marriage ends in a divorce Alfred passed away in 1924 and is laid to earth in the Union Cemetery, Columbus Ohio.

   Franks E Whitfield also relocates to Chicago Illinois and married Elsie M Grothmann in 1885.  Frank is a Grip Car driver and Elsie a housewife and mother of Grace Whitfield.  Elsie is a first generation Germany immigrant as her parents came from Prussia in the 1860's.  Frank and Elsie remain in Chicago until 1919 when Frank passes away at his house on Michigan Ave and is laid to earth in the Oak Wood Cemetery, Chicago Illinois.  After Franks death Elsie remarries to a Orrin Talley in April of 1921.  A year and a half later Elsie loses Orrin too to death.  Both Frank and Orrin lay next to one another in the cemetery.  Elsie relocates to Washington state where her only child lived.  Elsie passes away in Tacoma Washington, 1934

14 Oct 1885
  Did you notice that the three boys started and ended their lives, but there was no mention of their mother.  Elizabeth has gone missing sometime after the 1880 census.  My guess, she remarries!

  So, there you have it, the family as I know it.  So what do we know?  We know the parents, John and Elizabeth were born in England; John born 1825 and Elizabeth 1837.  We know John was a Miller and the family lived a comfortable life, well at least for a little while.  We know John and Elizabeth raised a family in Illinois, then divorced.   We know the family, except John, can be found in Hobart Indiana in 1880. We know that two of the sons relocated to Chicago and married.  And the third son worked as a Telegraph Operator in Ohio.  We can follow the sons through their lives until the 1920's when Charles drops off the radar and the two other boys pass away.

  Here are the questions to be answered.  What happened to John in the 1870's?  What happened to Elizabeth in the 1880's?  And what happened to Charles in the 1920's.

  With recently found records, I believe we have found Charles and Artimisia Whitfield grave site in an Aurora Illinois cemetery.  Also found was a marriage between a John Whitfield and Elizabeth Gearey in Kane Co Illinois 24 September 1857.  There is work yet to be done on researching this data, but I am now confident that we have found the begin of our Whitfield family in Illinois and the resting place of most of the family, with the exception of John and Elizabeth who are still missing.   I have requested the aforementioned marriage record from LDS and soon will be able to examine it more closely.  The family was now been recorded by way of a marriage in Aurora, Kane Co Illinois in 1857, again in the 1860 US Census for Aurora Illinois, then in 1865 in Newark, Kane Co, Illinois and the finally in the 1870 US Census in Kendall Co, Illinois, which is next door to Kane Co Illinois. The data matches from one record to the next, with minor errors.  In the 1880 US census, the family has segmented by divorce and then again in the mid 1880's as the sons marry and start their own families.

  A record of a death for one Arlimesia Whitfield, in 1942 Chicago. Notice the misspelling of the first name?  Close enough to follow though!  Following this person, the Illinois vital records website indicated that she was buried in a local cemetery in Aurora Illinois.  Off to Aurora to poke around their cemeteries.  As luck has it, Aurora has a website with many name collected and linked.  Following the link for Whitfield, I found Arlimesia Whitfield in the Spring Lake Cemetery  Lot LW-33.  The record indicates that Arlimesia Whitfield is 77 and had died in 1942.  Doing the math... Arlimesia Whitfield was born in 1865 which is a close match to the married record of 1863.  People moved their birth years quite often to fulfill a requirement or not.

  Looking a bit closer at the Arlimesia Whitfield cemetery lot number of LW-33, guess who is laying with her, but none other that Charles J Whitfield, her husband.  So, why bury Charles in a cemetery in Aurora Illinois?  Well, the 1860 US census record John Whitfeed and family in Aurora Illinois.  Notice the age of Charles (see 1860 census below) is two years of age and brother is 10/12 months.  Charles and Alfred were close in age, maybe only a year. Note,  Aurora is in Kane County Illinois,so it only make sense that Charles was to be laid to earth in the place of his birth.  The cemetery records Charles J Whitfield passing away at the age of 68 in 1926, which matches the birth year for Charles as we know it.  Another factor is, there are other Whitfields in this cemetery and in the same lot. The image below is suppose to be the Whitfield family which I am guessing circa 1898.  Frank, Elsie and Grace Whitfield are present.. The child sitting on mothers lap, lower right corner is Grace and Elsie.  Frank is third row and third from left.

Whitfield Clan
  Back to John Whitfield.  The below mentioned 1860 recorded his name as Whitfeed, but looking at the actual record it was Whitfield, so a transcription error.  The rest of the family was recorded as Whitfield.  Elizabeth was recorded as Mrs Whitfield.  This is why I couldn't find John prior to the 1865.

1860 US Census
  In closing, I still don't have any new information about what happened to John or Elizabeth Whitfield.  But, I am pretty sure our John Whitfield married Elizabeth Gearey in Kane County Illinois in 1857, which just prior to their first born son in 1858 in Aurora, Kane County Illinois, which is also the resting place for Charles J Whitfield in 1926 and was joined by his wife Artimisia Headley Whitfield of Ohio in 1942.

I would love to hear your thoughts, question or corrections!

Sometime lateral branches need to be followed in order to find the trunk!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Camp Pine

New York
Brigadier General Frederick Dent Grant
Camp Pine in the state New York. In 1908, Brigadier General Frederick Dent Grant, the oldest son of President Ulysses S. Grant, led thousands of Soldiers back to the area north of Black River, known locally as Pine Plains. Grant commanded 2,000 Regular Army Soldiers and 8,000 militia men from throughout the Northeast. He found Pine Plains to be an ideal place to train troops and money was allocated to purchase the land and summer training continued there through the years. The camp at Pine Plains formally opened on June 11, 1908, and training continued throughout the summer. Later in 1954, Camp Pine was renamed as Fort Drum.

Camp Pine was the training location for my Grandfather George Henry Reynolds and Great Uncle James William Reynolds in 1910.  I don't believe either seen any military active duty in the first World War.  

1917 Registration Card
The above registration card places my great uncle James Reynolds in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia prior to the 1917.  What kept him out for the war is unknown.

And in the Lowell Sun newspaper 1910, James and George are called up for training at Camp Pine.

Camp Pine Training 

Thank you both,  James W Reynolds and George H Reynolds for you time in server for our country!

*Thanks for to the Library of Congress, the Lowell Sun Archive and Family Search for providing these historical documents.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gunned down!

Gunned down at the oh so young age of 17.  In 1924 in the West Tampa area, Cyril was shot a number times in the stomach and died shortly there after. As the story goes Cyril was with two or three other young men, supposedly in the process of breaking into a store when the shots rang out.

Young Cyril P Herrick started life out in Chicago Illinois, 2 March 1907, before his parents decided to pack up the whole family and move to the West Tamp Florida area. This move must of been an adventure!  Can you imagine packing up a family of seven and heading south across a road system that wouldn't have existed in the late 1910's.  

Illinois Birth Record
In searching for Cyril's records,  I wasn't able to find a birth record, but found one that matched, well for the most part.  The birth record was for an Edward Herrick with the same parents, same home address and same date of birth. So, I don't know if this was an error in recording by the hospital staff or his parent decide to call him Cyril Paul instead and just didn't bother documenting the correction. The picture of the boy on horse back (above) was Cyril  somewhere between 13 and 17 years old.  Nice looking boy, wouldn't you say.

Now,  by the 1920 the family were firmly in place in the Tampa area, including  the two oldest boys, Edmund and George F Herrick (II) and his family.  The head of the family, George F Herrick (I), came from Cork Ireland, after which, he stops in Freeport Illinois long enough to find his wife Mary Kennedy and start his family.  Eleven children all but, only seven children made the trip from Chicago due early deaths.  Cyril was a teen by this time, doing what teens do, running with friends,  Moving ahead four short years, and we learn about the next set of records found for Cyril.  While with friends, in the early morning hours of 24 April 1924, Cyril was heard to say; "Boys, I'm dying, save me"!

Cyril was with friends checking out a drinking stand around two o'clock in the morning, when shots rang out.  hitting Cyril in the stomach and supposedly wounding another.  Cyril was with friends, Johnnie Thomas and E.M. Albury and one unknown red-headed guy.  The shooter was also the owner of the drink stand.  George St Amant was arrest and held in jail awaiting trail.  The attached newspaper clippings are from the Tampa Tribune April 1924, in which I will allow the rest of the story be told.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Alfred Whitfield

Alfred William Whitfield born to John and Elizabeth Whitfield in the state of Illinois in 1859.  Alfred had two brothers Frank E, and Charles J. Whitfield, also of Illinois.  Alfred at some point is his life relocated to Ohio and in 1898 married a young woman by the name of Etta G Shisler.  Etta was the daughter of Samuel and Hannah Wollam Shisler of Ohio.  Alfred was a telegrapher in Sandusky County Ohio.  I can only imagine the stories he sent and received across the wires.  Alfred and Etta had but one child; Lena G Whitfield, 1899!  After a time, the family fell apart and Alfred relocated to Columbus Ohio and this is where we find his final resting place in the Union Cemetery.
telegrapher in northwest

I have written about Alfred's brother Frank, so if you are curious, please follow the label suggestions or enter Whitfield in the search box top left corner of this blog window.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Case of the missing N

Louis Grothmann
Or is it Grothman, Grotman, Grathman?  This question is not a cause of the family, but rather those that are trying to understand, translate accents and write down what they think is correct.  As of yesterday, I thought the previous four mention names were going to be the only spelling variation I would need to watch for as I searched historical data for Grothmann.  But no, it turns out another variation has popped up; Groveman!

My Grothmann line starts in Prussia around 1860 when Louis Otto Grothmann and his wife Rosalie Hedtke Grothmann started their journey to Chicago and their American life.  Louis was a professional musician of some kind, but I've not been able to find what he played or where.  After coming to America, Louis started being known as Lewis and Grothmann lost the second N, thus Lewis Grothman came to be.  So, while chasing this name, I needed to be aware of the case of the missing N.

Louis and Rosalie were both born in Prussia.  Louis in 1836 and Rosalie in 1846. Leaving Hamburg, they traveled across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the steamship Kepler and arriving in New York  25 October 1864.
Kepler manifest 1864

They were heading for Ohio according to the ships manifest.  What was waiting for them in Ohio? A question that may never get answered. By the taking of US census of 1870,  Louis, Rosalie and two relatively newborns (Elsie and Otto) were recorded in Chicago Illinois.   Louis and Rosalie had eight children together; Anna, Elsie b. 1865, Otto b. 1867, Emma b. 1869, Emily b. 1876, Amelia b. 1877, Frederick and Louis b. 1879.  Of these children I have been able to find four mentioned in history beyond the birth.

Elsie Minnie Grothmann was born in 1865 and appears to be Louis and Rosalie's first born.  She grew up in Chicago and spends most of her life in the big city.  In 1885 at the age of 20, Elsie marries a Frank E Whitfield also of Chicago.  You will notice that the marriage license has Elsie as Else Grotmann at the age of 19.  Frank is a Street Car operator in the big city. Elsie and Frank have only one child;  Grace Rosalie Whitfield, who can read more about by following the link.  Elsie remarries to a Orrin P Talley in December 1921.  This marriage
is not long live as Orrin passes away in November 1923.  Both Frank and Orrin are resting in same plot in the Oakwoods Cemetery Chicago Illinois.  To this date, 1/13/2013, I have not found Elsie death or resting place.

Update:  Elsie Grothmann Whitfield moved to Tacoma Washington after the death of her second husband.  Tacoma is where her daughter lived at the time. Elsie passes away 2 Nov 1934.  Her final resting place is still unknown, since she was cremated, my guess she rests with her daughter.

Otto Grothman was born December 1867 in Chicago.  At the age of 24, Otto marries a Wilhelmina Dudde, 13 August 1892.  Otto and Minnie have two children; Otto and Minnie.  No, that's wasn't a typo. Otto (the younger) was born 1893 and Minnie in 1894  Otto (the elder) passes away in 19 November 1895.  Otto (the younger) working as a bookkeeper, marries Anna Tennyson of Norweigan decent on 18 Jun 1921.  The Chicago marriage register confirms the marriage, but nowhere can the be couple be found in census records, until yesterday as  I was searching for the surname of Tennyson in Chicago, which disclosed the newest variation of Grothmann as Groveman.  Otto and Anna are living with Anna's parent's in Chicago and were numerated in the 1930 US census.  The census recorded age, years married and employment as matching data to what was known about Otto Grothman, so I have accepted this Otto Groveman as the same person.

Becker girls
Emma Grothman was born 1869 in Chicago.  At the age of 21 Emma marries a Joseph Becker of Chicago. This couple has four daughters Hazel b. 1891. Edna b. 1893,  Rose b. 1895 and Carrie b. 1900.

Emily F Grothman was born December 1876 in Chicago.  In May 1899 she marries Louis Dediemar of Kenosha Wisconsin.  By the spring of 1901 Emily has passed on due Phthisis Pulmonalis, which is tuberculosis. Louis and Emily had no children  prior to her passing.

UPDATE: A cousin of Louis DeDiemar shared the resting place for Emily;  Green Ridge Cemetery Kenosha, Wisconsin. I have created a FindaGrave Memorial with a photo of the headstone. I hope you take a moment to view.

That begins us back to the beginning of our story as we end with a few more details about Louis and Rosalie. Louis Otto Grothman passes away in 1891 at home, 6732 Michigan Ave, Chicago.  After Louis' death Rosalie remarries in April 1894 to a August Fenske.  The Fenske's relocates to Kenosha Wisconson.  Rosalie passes away in 1915 at the age of  69.

Grothman family circa 1882
From the back to front is; Elsie, Otto, Emma, Anna and Emily. Sitting is Rosalie and Louis Grothmann.  To date I haven't found anything for Anna other than this photo.  

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Cross in the fold

As I went through my mother's belonging after her death 2001, I found boxes of old family pictures and letters wasting away in an old leaky and smelly outbuilding .  Many of the pictures were without full name or names at all. The letters had names of which I was somewhat familiar and others not! So, it was slow going trying to figure out who was who and how they connected to me or me them.  In one envelope, a letter from my great aunt Adelaide Herrick Roberts of Florida to my mother who lived in NE Minnesota.  There was no date on the letter itself, but the envelope was post marked in the 1960's.

In the folds of the letter was a cross.  A cross my great grandmother Mary Clement Kennedy Herrick wore and carried in her purse for many a year.  I have no idea how old the cross might be, but I am going to guess near a hundred years.  The cross was send as a keepsake but was to be returned if not wanted.  My aunt Adelaide has since passed on too and I have no current with any of her children, so the cross and the letter stays with me for now.

Mary Clement Kennedy, daughter of Michael and Margaret Walsh Kennedy, Freeport Illinois.  Mary was born in 1869 Freeport Illinois and was laid to rest in Tampa Florida 1947.