Friday, November 18, 2011

7 Maiden Names, 1 Divorce, and 30 Deleted Ancestors

This week I started a new project focused on cleaning up my genealogy database. I'll explain what I'm doing in another post next week. Since that post was starting to get out of hand, I thought I would share what I found so far.

This week I went through all the people in my database without surnames. I also started adding source details for family histories that I used. Here's what happened:

I found the maiden names of 7 women in the following sources:
  1. Burial record with parents' names.
  2. Obituary citation on Find-a-Grave that led me to newspaper images on Ancestry.
  3. Texas marriage index.
  4. Published Massachusetts vital records.
  5. Marriage record already cited in database, but never recorded her maiden name.
  6. Ohio marriage record.
  7. Bible record that was again already citing the marriage but I never recorded the name.
I also:
  • Found divorce index for my great grandfather and his second wife.
  • Deleted one woman because I'm not sure if the will I have for her husband is actually for the right guy. Too many men with the same now in the area.
  • Deleted 29 names and my Mayflower connection when I realized that the "proof" in the family history was an old lady remembering a name in a book her grandmother had. I guess it's good that I found out before Thanksgiving.
It's amazing what you can find about your ancestors when you look at them again. Stayed tuned to hear the details of my new project.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brick Wall - Where did Joseph Hillis originate?

Last week I wrote about my brick wall in the KAVCIC family. I never thought I was going to get anywhere with that family, so it was exciting to find most of them in the passenger lists. Finding them in Austria/Slovenia is going to be a whole other thing though.

While I was looking for them, I was supposed to be working on a blog post about Joseph Hillis. I like to pick one ancestor who is being a pain and make them my #1 brick wall. The last one I had was Joseph's son, George. I couldn't find the names of George's parents anywhere. But then I found a death date for him and that led me to his death certificate and that held the names I was seeking. I found George with his parents in Boone County, Kentucky. I found his mother's parents and grandparents and great grandparents. But I couldn't find anything about Joseph.

Here's what I know about Joseph:
  • He was born 29 April 1832. (obituary)
  • He married Susan Brown MORSE on 12 May 1856 in Ohio County, Indiana. (Indiana Marriage database)
  • On 25 May 1857, son George was born in Rising Sun, Indiana.
  • In August 1859, son Valorous was born in Indiana. (He is named for his maternal grandfather.)
  • In 1860, Joseph and Susan are living with their two sons, George and Valorous, in Spencer County, Indiana. (1860 census)
  • In 1863, Joseph registered for the civil war draft. He was living in Ohio County, Indiana.
  • On 28 January 1864, daughter Mary Francis is born in Rising Sun.
  • In September 1865, daughter Lizzie is born in Indiana.
  • In 1880, Joseph and Susan are living with their children, Valorous, Mary and Lizzie, in Boone County, Kentucky. (1880 census)
  • In 1900, Joseph and Susan are still in Boone County. (1900 census)
  • Joseph died on 25 February 1907 in Boone County. (obituary)
  • He was buried in Rising Sun, Ohio County, Indiana according to his obituary. (obituary)
  • His occupation was fisherman.
Now the problems:
I have never been able to find the family in the 1870 census. This could be attributed to the family moving around the Ohio River.

There is no one birthplace listed for Joseph. Gathering all the census records for him and his children, his place of birth is listed as:
  • Ohio - 2x
  • England - 2x
  • Pennsylvania - 7x
  • Virginia - 1x
  • West Virginia - 1x
In 1880, the census enumerator wrote that Joseph's father was born in Pennsylvania and his mother in France. In 1900, it is written that his father was born in Ireland and his mother in Pennsylvania.

George named his first born Joseph Mills Hillis. His father never used a middle name or initial, but the Mills name might be from his family.

I was able to find his obituary 2 weeks ago. The Boone County Public Library in Burlington, Kentucky has an newspaper index on their website. I found an entry for Joseph and received the obituary in my email in a few days. So now I have some other places to look.

Here's my plan:
  • Search the Rising Sun, Indiana papers for mention of his death and burial. 
  • Search the family files at the Ohio County Historical Society. They have files on Hillis and Morse.
So it's road trip time!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chipping at Brick Wall - Mary and Helena Kavcic passenger list

Yesterday I wrote about finding Apolonia Kavcic, wife of Enos Kavcic, on a 1893 passenger list. While writing the post, I started thinking. Where were her two daughters? One of the reasons that it took me so long to find Apolonia was that I kept searching for the family. I went back to my research and realized that Apolonia and Enos were living in Pennsylvania with their American born children in 1900. But their two Austrian born daughters, Mary and Helena, were no where to be found.

Then it was time to redefine my search criteria. Instead of searching between 1890 and 1900, when I thought the girls had arrived, I searched for them between 1900 and 1910. And of course they came right up. Again the surname was indexed as Kaveic.

They arrived on 14 December 1902 in New York City and were headed to their father living in East Palestine, Ohio.

Of course in the time it took me to go to the grocery store and get around to my new search, Linda Swisher over at Round Tuit Genealogy had already found the daughters. But since I didn't check my email until after I found the girls, I can pretend that I found them first.

Linda also found a potential candidate for their father's passenger list. Janos Kavulzis fits the June 1892 immigration date that Enos Kavcic gives on his immigration. The ages also match. He was headed to Ohio, another match. But I'm still not sure about the surname. It's a little too different for me. Janos also lists his occupation as a joiner. The only occupation I have for Enos is coal miner in 1900. 

So I am now 3 for 4 in finding the Kavcic family on ships and I have some hints for the last guy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chipping at Brick Wall - Apolonia Kavcic Passenger List

I've been looking over some of my brick walls in order to write some blog posts. Originally I thought I could just write up where I am stuck and hope that someone searching the internet would have an answer for me some day. But then I started chipping away at them and have made progress on my own.

The last few nights I have been searching for the KAVCIC family on passenger lists. I know they were in the United States by the time their son Charles was born in September 1894. I also know that they were still in Austria when daughter, Helena was born in 1891. Last night I searched the Philadelphia passenger lists on Ancestry and finally found them!

Well actually I only found one of them, but it was still progress.

Apolonia Kavcic (indexed as Apolenia Kaveic) left Antwerp, Belgium on 29 November 1893 aboard the S. S. Pennsylvania. She arrived in Philadelphia on 15 December 1893. Her husband paid her fare and was living in East Palestine, Ohio. [Or at least near it since I find the family living in Darlington Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania in 1900 and 1910. Just over the state border.]

Her last residence was Sairachberg. It was Austria, but is now Slovenia.

So now I have to go back and try to find the passenger lists for her husband, Enos Kavcic, and their daughters Mary and Helena. Enos states on his naturalization papers that he arrived in the United States in June of 1892. But of course I haven't been able to find him yet. The girls aren't listed in the 1900 census with the family, so they might have immigrated between 1900 and their marriages in 1907 and 1909.

At least I have some more clues now. I also need to contact the church in East Palestine and see what records they have on the family.

Interesting note: Apolonia arrived on 15 December 1893. Her first child born in the US, Charles, was born on 6 September 1894. I guess Apolonia and Enos missed each other while they lived apart.