Sunday, November 6, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I'm currently on the hunt for her daughter, who is "off the grid" except for her husband.
This is what I know about Johnston Copelin:
- His parents are named Eudolphus and Ida (Johnston) Copelin. They were quite wealthy and did a ton of international traveling.
- He had a brother named Phillip.
- He went to Yale and was a journalist.
- He died under mysterious circumstances in a hotel room in Lorain, Ohio. His death certificate is next to illegible, so I'm not completely sure of the circumstances.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
They're basing this on an old book, called Bandit Invincible, by William T. Phillips, is an autobiography, not a biography and that Phillips was actually the famous criminal living in disguise.
The reasoning is that a) Phillips knew "too much" not to be the famous outlaw and b) William T. Phillips didn't exist until 1908, according to records.
I think it's crap.
He knew alot because he was a friend of the outlaw. That's a "documented" fact.
He didn't exist in records? Alot of other people didn't exist in records. As a genealogist, I know that's not the most documented time period. Also, what if he had a different name at birth? He knew Butch Cassidy, maybe he "worked" with him and then after he retired from the game he changed his name and settled down. It makes perfect sense to me.
I see a story that has been blown up, nothing more.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
He wasn't a nice man.
My family remembers the better parts of his - his dog and his rose garden and all the damn Barbies he gave me.
They tend to forget the abuse, the knives, the police records with his name on it. The multiple wives, the army of young girlfriends (while he was married to the wives).
There was one wife in particular that stayed and put her life on the line for me once when I was 8. It's a bond she and I shared until Alzheimer's made her forget it; now I'm just another woman who sends her cards in the nursing home. I won't tell her exactly how I know her, ever. Dredging up though memories would hurt her more than enlighten her.
I found out about his death while I was at school. My mom came and told me. I was sad - for her, mostly. At his funeral, I sat like a rock. I wanted to stay and make sure dirt went over his casket, but a relative sort of led me away. Ive seen his headstone once - when we buried his brother, a WWII decorated veteran who kicked ass and took names.
I never called him Grandpa. It just didn't fit.
I'm sure he loved me. The best that kind of man can love anyone. He was an alcoholic and a gambler, which doesn't make him a bad person. He was just really messed up.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
However, I have been doing some research. I went to my second cousin's high school graduation, where I ran into several of my grandmother's friends and lots of relatives. One of them took me over to this big wall of pictures and started pointing out my relatives.
When he got to one picture, he said "There's Juanita." Staring at her was eerie - I look like her in many ways.
For those who don't know, Juanita is my "Flora" on my mom's side. She is my great aunt. There's very little information about her, she had a marrying problem, and I cant find a death date for that woman, not even through the SSDI.
I have a feeling that this woman was another serious secretkeeper.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
- I had a routine hospitalization (standard, I'm used to it). I got out for Easter.
- A tornado hit the Saint Louis airport, stranding my fiance with me until Thursday (not complaining!)
- While being forced to sit on my butt, I've discovered the shows Addicted to Food and Relapse.
- I've seen movies - lots of them. Today we did a double header of The Conspirator and the new Madea movie. I loved them both.
- I spent three hours trying to make heads or tails of Flora, and figured out something interesting...
Sunday, April 17, 2011
He's my 2nd-great uncle, my great-grandfather's brother. I had been assuming that his legal name was John, because that was his father's name (according to his death certificate), but Heather did a search and found a James L Rogers - and all the information (parents birth places, wife's name, birth place, everything) matched perfectly. You couldn't find a better match.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
JR Rogers is buried in the Rogers family plot in Blodgett Cemetery in Blodgett, Mo. Everyone else in the plot I can account for being related to somehow - except him.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that my blog posting resumes tomorrow after a week long absence. I got a new computer, I’ve been on vacation… You get the idea. But tomorrow I’m back with a series of new stories, new pictures, and new discoveries!
Friday, April 1, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
- Her father (my grandfather - and I use that term very, very loosely) was born with his name spelled Rodgers and died with it as Rogers. Same with his brothers, but not his sisters.
- One of his sisters was born Juanita and died Dorothy. No idea why.
- That same sister (the only one that lived past childhood) was married to a football player for the Chicago Cubs back in the 1930s.
- Supposedly, we're Indian. That's what I've always been told, but I don't know if it's true or not.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
- Start scanning all the family documents I have into the computer. There aren't alot, but there are enough it will take time.
- Clean up my notes (and my desk!). There are papers everywhere and I need to get them organized.
- Find Flora's obituary. I have an aunt trying to help with this, but considering my Flora history, I'm not holding my breath.
- Figure out her maiden name. No one knows it, so it's going to take a roadtrip and an archive search. I found her first husband's name, so now I just have to confirm it.
- Once I get her maiden name, start researching her family line.
- Do some FamilySearch Index work.
- Order the NGS CD 1.
- Merge my genealogy Twitter with my work Twitter. (Doing tonight.)
Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
- Question everything your family has told you about your family. I'm not saying they would lie or deliberately be evasive (a few of my family members would, but not all families are like mine, I hope), but they may not know the truth. A family legend is just that - a legend - and it's just a story until it's found to be true on some sort of record, be it marriage, birth, death or a newspaper clipping.
- When your significant other tells you that you are addicted and/or obsessed with genealogy, explain that there are much worse addictions, like shopping.
- Realize it takes time. Some things can be found by a quick Google search or by a quick trip to FamilySearch, but other records can take months or years to track down. It requires patience, persistence and lots of effort.
- Remember that not everything is online. Find-A-Grave is great, but it's not the be-all-end-all of cemetery records. Sometimes you have to get off your butt and outdoors to traipse through old cemeteries, or into libraries and other centers to go through archives.
- Keep careful records. Don't just use one program on the computer - make sure you back up your work and ALL your documents, plus print out everything you can.
- Sometimes it's going to be sad. 100 years ago infants died, women died in childbirth, and they didn't have the kinds of medications and life-saving stuff we have today. Understand it's going to be sad and you will most likely grieve for those you have never met and those who died a century before you were even born.
- Connecting to other genealogists is key. It doesn't matter if you have been researching for fifteen years or just got started tracing your tree last week - every genealogist you meet can give you some advice and a tip or two to help you along your journey. Don't hesitate to ask for help. It's out there. Read other genealogy blogs and comment on them.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
For those who are following me on Twitter, they know that I am engaged currently in something I'm calling The Great Flora Hunt. It is an all consuming passion for me right now, because I love mysteries and research and this definitely sparks both.
Flora was my 2nd-great grandmother. She was, from what I can gather, a very spunky lady. She was also married at least five times. Three kids came from these five marriages that I can find, but only two of these children can be documented.
This death certificate (pictured right) is the only legal document I can find for her. I don't know her maiden name, I don't know all of her husbands' names or marriage dates (just their last names.) I'm not sure if she was divorced multiple times (still checking into that, but so far I can't find divorce records, although that doesn't mean they aren't there) or if the husbands just kept dying on her. According to family history, her 3rd known husband, Evan Joseph / Ive/Joe Hendricks/Hendness/Hendiess died between 1910-1915 in some sort of accident.I'm not sure if that's true, since my first rule of Genealogy is "question everything."
If you look closely at Flora's death certificate, it's full of knowns. Example: parents' names are both unknown as is her maiden name. I'm not sure if my great-grandfather Robert, who was the informant when she died, was clueless or deliberately evasive - either way, it doesn't really help.
I've done a timeline of her life and at some point she was a Gordon, Medley, Mangrum, Hendricks and a Duncan. She died in 1939 from advanced tuberculosis with malnutrition as an added factor. My goal is to work backwards in her life - her death to her last husband to the husband before that, etc - to figure out where and when exactly she was born and get her parents' names. Right now I'm trying to find any obituary for her. She's one of the great mysteries in my family tree.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
My 2nd-great grandmother was named Flora. She's a mystery because of her multiple marriages, even though I couldn't find divorce or death records for the husbands after she moved on to the next guy. I'm assuming she was a bigamist, although I really hate to think that. I can't find a birth record for her, and her death certificate lists her maiden name and parents names as both "unknown." All I know about her before her first child's birth in 1893 is that she was born supposedly in Mississippi, although I'm beginning to think she wasn't. There are absolutely no records of her before 1893.
My 2nd-great grandfather vanished off the face of the earth in a timespan of about 10 years. He was on the 1910 census, but he wasn't on the 1920. His wife (Flora) married again in 1917, so I'm assuming (more like hoping) he died before that, but I'm not sure. They had two children, but I don't have any information (no name or birthdate or anything) for one of them.
I haven't found a shotgun wedding yet, but I'm still looking. I'm sure there was at least one.
On my father's mother's side my great-grandmother had some family problems and gave birth to a baby out of wedlock (scandal back then) that died anywhere from 2 months to 2 years later, but I have absolutely no record of it. I don't know if it's family legend, but I'm guessing it isn't because of the circumstances involving the child's conception, birth and death - rather hushed and scandalized (she was very young, the father of the baby was supposedly black, and this was the south... fill in the blanks there.)
I have family born in Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
I have only found one relative that served in any war, and that was WW1.
I'm planning a research trip an hour away to a tiny town in the next few weeks to do research. Right now I'm trying to make a list of things I need to find.