Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekly Roundup 29 Apr 2011

Not a lot of stuff to report this week. I have been studying the documents sent to me by the Knox County OH researcher. I haven't had a lot of time to sort it all out. I think I know what I'm seeing, but want to create a spreadsheet or something like that to put everything into a usable time frame.

I entered into my Legacy Family Tree database as much as I could find on the newly-found children of 2nd Great Grandpa William Porter. I will have to obtain some primary sources before publishing what I have found. Most of what I've found I am confident to be fact, but need those sources!

I feel I'm ready to move my research to New York, the goal being to find the birth place of William Porter. I've spent some time this week studying the Holland Land Company's history. I'm hoping that it's records will yield more information on my Chautauqua County NY Porter family. I've also spent more time at the American Ancestors website, exploring New York records, etc. Many more options are available to me as I start this new phase of research. My plans also are to work with Tom, writer of the Gen Journal blog on this research as we both descend from William Porter.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Hole in the Brick Wall - William Lee Porter and 7 new siblings

I've mentioned several times that I really felt that William Lee Porter is the son of my Great Great Grandfather, William Porter.

I recently asked a researcher in Knox County, Ohio to look at the land records and anything else he could find on my ancestor, William Porter. He hit the jackpot! Not only do these documents link William Lee Porter to Great Great Grandpa William, but also to seven additional children. As mentioned in another Hole in the Brick Wall post, I had thought that a Sally Ann Porter Simmons was one of William's daughters. That turns out to be true. However, I had also posted that I thought a Phoeba Ann Porter Storrs was his daughter, but this is not the case. I had recently identified a male whom I thought might be William's son. My assumption was correct.

So now I have the following children: Nancy Porter, Sally Ann Porter, William Lee Porter, Harriet Porter, Alfred Porter, Cordelia Porter, Lorenzo Porter, Phebe Rosella Porter, Orrin Clinton Porter, and the two children from William's marriage to Catherine: Leander Porter and Francis Porter. Of these children I have been able to find all but Alfred Porter.

In addition to the above relationships I now know that Great Great Grandpa William died about 1862. Nice!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #17 Pets

We never owned our own home, so several of the places we lived we were not allowed to have pets. Some places allowed cats, so every pet I had growing up was a cat. I know we had one briefly when we lived at 1435 N. 4th St. I think it was never in the house, but we fed it. Can't even remember what it looked like now. Then when we moved north to Indiana Avenue we had a couple 'tiger' kitties that were very quickly gone by being hit by cars.

The first kitty I really remember was a female tortoise shell named Junior. Don't ask me how we came up with that name! She came down with some sort of disease and had to take pills every day. She loved them! We would just have to shake the container and she would come running! And she loved potato chips!

Back in those days one didn't keep kitties inside and usually didn't "fix" the females either. So eventually along came Stripes. I loved him so much! I loved him so much that I made an elastic collar with his name and address on it just in case he got lost! He got in a lot of cat fights and would sometimes be gone for a few days, sometimes coming back without the collar!

After Junior and Stripes passed Dad said we weren't going to have anymore cats. When I was in high school I brought home another female tortoise shell kitty named Miss Prissy. I bought her at the Ohio State Fair for about $5.00. Dad acted like he was mad, but the very next day he was playing with her!

Being an apartment dweller in the early years of my adulthood I again could not have pets in a lot of the places I lived. It wasn't until I started a family that pets were again introduced into our lives. Having grown up with kitties it wasn't hard to accept an offer to take my brother's kitty when he could no longer keep her. He had named her Pookie, and she was a wonderful addition to our family.

It wasn't long before Pookie became enamored with a neighborhood cat, and gave birth to 4 kittens. One sweet little angel passed shortly after birth, and two were given to good homes. One of her babies was kept. He looked like a little mountain gorilla so he was named Grilla.

By the time my daughter was born Pookie was getting up in years and did not like the attention that Jamie gave her. I thought it might be a good idea to get Jamie a kitten that would be used to having a young child man-handle it. I bought Tips at a local pet shop during my lunch hour and he was waiting for Jamie when we got home later that day. She loved him! She loved him so much that she would put him in her chest of drawers while we were away, so that she would know where to find him when we came home! I finally had to explain to her that was not a good idea.

All of the above beloved pets are now passed. Pookie was with us for 19 years, Grilla 12 years, and Tips 10 years. They are most definitely missed!

It finally occurred to me that as a family we should have a dog. I wasn't overly fond of dogs because I had not grown up with one, but a woman advertised free puppies at my place of work. They were beagle mix. My two kids, Nick and Jamie, and I had to drive about 30 miles outside Columbus to see the puppies. I really wanted a female and was partial to the ones that looked like a beagle. At first it didn't look like there were any females that did look like a beagle, most being more black than the traditional tri-color. But finally we found her! Our beautiful, most wonderful dog in the world Sera. I have said for many years that Sera is the reason I now think dogs are so wonderful! Sera passed away this past November after giving us 14 great years of her presence. I still cry when I think about her.

After moving from Columbus to upstate New York in 1998, my husband and daughter decided that we needed another dog. I wasn't so sure about that, but they did their homework and decided that we should get a Cairn Terrier. I was still trying to sell the house in Columbus and made quite a few trips back and forth during that time period. It was when I was in Columbus that I noticed an ad in the Columbus Dispatch for Cairn Terrier puppies. The woman selling them actually lived in Dover, Ohio. That was on my way back home to New York so Jamie and I stopped to check them out. We fell in love with the puppy who couldn't stop licking our faces. We decided to let Jamie name the new puppy. She liked the name Coco. I thought he needed a more dignified name so added Bean. So Coco Bean he became. I know, I know, Coco Bean is not a dignified name, but I liked it!

In 2004 we decided for some reason that Pookie and Tips needed a brother. Actually Samson helped make that decision. My husband and I were at the local Agway that always has a kitty from the SPCA on the premises. We heard Samson meow and thought he sounded a lot like Tips. My husband and I looked at each other and decided right then that he was coming home with us. I cannot say enough good things about this cat. He is so lovable! He does have his moments - we think he has a split personality: "Daytime Sammy" and "Nighttime Sammy" as during the daytime he can really act like a cat, but at night he is Mister Cuddlebug.

After both Tips and Pookie passed away we of course had to get a companion for Samson. Jamie and I went to the SPCA and came home with a beautiful calico kitty. I looked for a name for her that would describe her, and since she was a very plump cat I decided that Kessie fit her perfectly. Kessie is an African name for "born fat"! Samson and Kessie get along so well - they really love each other.

So our home now is filled with love of our adorable Coco Bean, Samson, and Kessie. I cannot think of anything more enjoyable to have in our lives!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Roundup 22 Apr 2011

I finished browsing the microfilmed newspapers that I had borrowed from the Ohio Historical Society via Interlibrary Loan. The only thing I found was a date of death for a 2-year-old, Daisy Pinkley.

I again listened to Geneablogger Radio. The topic was Family History and the Civil War. Though it was again a very good show, I didn't make it to the very end as the show is between 10pm and midnight for me. Sleep does sometime win out.

I hired a Knox County researcher to do some of the research that I cannot do at this time. He has already been able to give me very good results. I'm waiting until I have the actual paperwork before I post a blog on his findings.

I continued to look for other children of my 2nd Great Grandfather, William Porter. Since it has been written that he originally stopped in Coshocton County before settling in Knox County, I looked for any Porters who were born in New York during a time frame of 1820-1836. I did find one man, Lorenzo Porter, who looks promising. In 1850 he is living in New Castle Township, Coshocton, Ohio with a David Sharpless family. He is 21 years old so that makes him born about 1829.

I finally found a reference in legal documents to my Great Grandmother's maiden name. It's the one that I've heard growing up - Hontoon. I blogged about it in an earlier post titled Surname Saturday - HONTOON.

It's been a good week. I'm hoping this continues until I find my 2nd Great Grandfather's parents!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Those Places Thursday - 1435 North Fourth Street

1435 North Fourth Street
Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, United States

This was my first home. It is located between 8th and 9th Avenues. We lived in the second to last apartment (#11) in the back. You cannot tell from this picture but there are identical units facing these on the right. We called the sidewalk between the two units "the court". I lived here until 1957. This picture was taken by the Franklin County Auditor's office; the date of the photo is 2007. At the time I lived here, there were no trees or iron fencing in the front. The building to the left in the photo did not exist yet - it was a vacant field when I lived here. It appears that the property has been kept up. I'm not sure of the current neighborhood but I know it went through a decline after we moved.

August 1948
My Dad and brother Pat
in back of building. The enclosed porches on the back
no longer exist. I do not know when they were

May 1955
My brother Pat in front of our apartment, which 
was to the right of him (left in picture).
Behind him is the back entrance to the court.

July 4, 1947
My Dad, Jim Porter, at the corner of N. 4th St. and 8th Avenue.
The billboard behind him is in the field that was behind our home. 
It now has a large apartment complex located there.

November 1951
This is my brother Pat sitting on one of the brick columns
at the entrance at 1435 N. 4th St.
From the present day picture you can see that these columns are still there.
This photo is facing North. At the time traffic was two-way on N. 4th St.
Today N. 4th St. is one-way heading North.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This Month In Family History - April Anniversaries

21 Apr 1872  Marion Bention Pinkley (half 1st cousin twice removed) & Surepta Stover; Knox, Ohio
12 Apr 1903  Harry Leslie Porter (Grandfather) & Rose Ellen Linn (Grandmother); Knox, Ohio
03 Apr 1904  Effie Elizabeth McCullough (half 2nd cousin once removed) & William Bertlett Ayers; Knox, Ohio
27 Apr 1950  Russell Eugene Ansel (1st cousin) & Marie Woods, Mount Vernon; Knox, Ohio

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Surname Saturday - HONTOON

I recently wrote about my great grandmother Mary. In that post I stated that the story handed down was that she was an American Indian from an Ohioan tribe with the surname HUNTOON. Research shows that name to be of Scottish origin. I really began to doubt that her name was anything close to HUNTOON. I was hoping the surname HEPNER, which is listed on her marriage certificate to my great grandfather, Leander PORTER, was at least close to her real surname. The thing that has bothered me all along has been the fact that she is listed as Mary TAYLOR on three of her children's birth records and a few other records.

She was rather young (age 18) when she married my great grandfather, Leander Porter, so I didn't think that she would have been married before him BUT it appears I was wrong. Today using Ancestry.Com I decided to do a search only on Mary R, born about 1853 in Ohio, living in Knox County, Ohio. I think I've done this search before, but nothing stood out in the results. However this time I noticed a Mary R Tylor, age 17 in 1870 (b. 1853) living in Pleasant Township, Knox, Ohio. Hmm, that was close enough to warrant further investigation.

At that time Mary R Tylor was living with a Burgess and Mary Tylor. Also listed in this household was John Tylor, age 9. What I noticed right away though was that Mary, age 17, was listed after John, age 9. That was odd. Usually the children are listed in age order. Of course the 1870 federal census does not include relationship to head of household so was she their daughter, niece?

I decided to look for Burgess and Mary Tylor in later census records. I found them in 1880 living in Union County, Ohio. The family consists of Burgess, Mary, and John TAYLOR. In 1900 I also find Burgess and Mary TAYLOR living in Union County, Ohio. John J. TAYLOR is living next door to them with his wife Ida V TAYLOR.

I did not find Burgess or Mary in the 1910 federal census. So I did a quick look at Find A Grave and found a memorial for both Burgess and Mary. From these memorials it appears that Burgess died in 1910 and Mary in 1907. However, it's just the opposite. Again using Ancestry I searched a Union County newspaper, the Richwood Gazette, and found a death notice for Burgess Taylor. He died 29 May 1907 in Taylor Township, Union, Ohio. Next I checked FamilySearch for Mary's death certificate. She died 28 Feb 1910 in Taylor Township, Union, Ohio. Her death certificate is signed by their son, John J. Taylor.

I wanted to obtain more proof that this was the same family found in Knox County, Ohio in the 1870 federal census, so I looked for John J. Taylor's death record. Using FamilySearch I found that John J. Taylor died 21 Mar 1941 in Taylor Township, Union, Ohio. His death certificate states that he was born in Knox County, Ohio.

Ok, so here's where it got confusing. Deciding that I wanted to see if I could obtain anymore information on Burgess Taylor I did a search using FamilySearch. What came back astounded me! There was a marriage record in Union County, Ohio, image included, of a Burgess M. Taylor and a Mary HONTOON! OMG! OMG! OMG! But wait! The date of marriage was 21 Jan 1868. WHAT???? Ok, was Burgess a polygamist and living with both his wives in 1870? I don't think so. Did he divorce his first wife, then marry Mary R, divorce her, and then marry another Mary? Since I don't think another wife would want an ex-wife living with them I had to forget about that one! Then it finally hit me! Burgess M. Taylor had a son named Burgess M. Taylor (Jr). He must have died soon after the marriage and Mary was living with her in-laws in 1870. Unfortunately the 1870 federal census does not include marriage status.

This needs sources, but at least I feel there is some truth to the story I heard as a child about my great grandmother. But was she an American Indian? The name is spelled HONTOON on the marriage certificate, not HUNTOON. Did she not know how to spell her surname so the clerk just spelled it as it sounded?

This is good too in that I know to also look in Union County for Mary R's roots.

It's funny too to find this connection to Union County, Ohio. My Mom and her father were both born very close to where the Taylors lived and died.

It's also makes me realize even more so now just how many things had to have fallen into place for me to have been born. If Burgess had not moved temporarily to Pleasant Township, Knox County, Mary R would never have met Leander and my grandfather would not have been born, and my father would not have been born, and I would not have been born.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekly Roundup 15 Apr 2011

This is my first Weekly Roundup, where I will keep track of what I've done the past week or so.

Ordered the complete pension files for William Lee Porter, invalid, and Catherine Porter, mother of deceased soldier. I already have the compiled service records for William Lee Porter. I'm hoping the pension files will give me his relationship to Orrin Clinton Porter. I'm fairly certain they are brothers, but would be nice to have it written in an official document! I'm extremely interested in receiving the one for Catherine Porter. The name of the soldier, William H H Davis, on the pension card is unknown to me. So did Catherine have another son who died in the Civil War? I've already discovered her son, Esquire Davis, who died 12 Mar 1862 in Lake Providence, East Carroll, Louisiana from accidental drowning due to being delirious with typhoid fever. There are a couple names associated with Catherine that are a puzzle. One is David M H H Davis (is this the above William H H Davis?), and the other is Henry H Davis (is this the H H part of the names?). David M H H Davis appears in the 1850 federal census as David H H Porter, living with William and Catherine Porter. He is 9 years old and born in Ohio. He is listed below his brothers, Hiram and Barney Davis, in the census. Hiram and Barney are also listed with surname Porter so I'm assuming since that was a mistake that David's entry was also a mistake. The two children born to William and Catherine, Leander and Catherine Francis, are listed before Hiram, Barney, and David. In the 1860 federal census Henry H Porter is listed with the family. He is 16 years old and born in Ohio. Though the ages do not match I cannot help but feel that these two children are the same person.

I was contacted by what most likely is a half 'nth' cousin who had seen my post on Joseph Rollin Porter's tombstone. I have replied and hope to hear what he has to say about his great great grandfather, William Lee Porter.

I spent about 10 hours browsing the Mount Vernon Republican newspaper that I have on loan from the Ohio Historical Society. I have about 3 more hours of browse time and I should be finished with this microfilm. I identified several more microfilms that I will be requesting via interlibrary loan from OHS in the upcoming weeks/months.

I contacted tpratt at his blog Gen Journey about a couple posts he has made about a Nancy Porter, who supposedly was born and married in Chautauqua County, NY. We have exchanged a few emails and will keep each other posted on any finds we have made relating to this Nancy Porter. I personally feel she is a daughter of my William Porter, but of course have absolutely no proof at this time. Definitely a person of interest!

For the first time I listened to GeneabloggersRadio. Episode #11 was on Colonial Period Genealogy and I found it to be very informative. I'll be listening again tonight - topic will be Family History and the Civil War. The times are:
10pm - 12am Eastern US
9-11pm Central US
8-10pm Mountain US
7-9pm Pacific US
2am London UK
3pm Sydney AUS

I've been working on how I keep track of my research. I've kept a running diary/research log since I began in 2007. The information is there (if I remembered to write it!), but is easily forgotten. So I've been experimenting with different ways of keeping the information available to each person on whom the research has been done. I use Legacy Family Tree and it does have a "Research Notes" tab, so I've started to use it. I can make a report of an individual's research notes also. But inputting research into an individual's record presents two problems: 1) it's no different than keeping a running diary in that it's hard to find what I've done after the log grows, and 2) I don't have a central place where I can keep track of everything I've done for the past week/month. To solve problem #1 I have setup bolded "Titles" within the Research Notes, for example, "Newspaper Research", "Death Record Research", etc. This way I can easily browse to the type of research by Title and thus limit the amount of time looking for previous research efforts. To solve problem #2 I have started this weekly blog post!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Joseph Rollin Porter & Bertha Mabel Reeder Porter

16 Oct 1880 - 17 May 1952
15 Nov 1876 - 2 Feb 1933
1906 - 1906
24 Mar 1920 - 24 Mar 1920

Joseph Rollin Porter, son of Joseph Sedgwich Porter and Mary Elizabeth Sharp
     married 20 Mar 1904, Knox County, Ohio
Bertha Mabel Reeder Porter, daughter of Wilson V. Reeder and Eliza Ann Haines

They had six known children:
Rollin S. Porter (1906-1906)
Leona Beryl Porter Pierce (1907-1938)
Kenneth R. Porter (1911-1980, twin of Vivian)
Vivian L. Porter Steurer (1911-1974, twin of Kenneth)
Clinton H. Porter (1914-1992)
George Robert Porter (1920-1920)
     note: George's year of death is inscribed as 1919 on the tombstone but death certificate lists 1920

George Robert died at birth, and it appears that Rollin died at birth also.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Month in Family History - April Birthdays!

The following people were born in April in Knox County, Ohio:

00 Apr 1844, John Simpson, Gambier, Knox, Ohio; husband of great-greataunt, Catherine Francis Porter
21 Apr 1855, Surepta Stover Pinkley, Jelloway, Knox, Ohio; wife of half 1st cousin twice removed, Marion Benton Pinkley
02 Apr 1870, Harry J. Cummins, Knox, Ohio; half 2nd cousin once removed
12 Apr 1873, Gay M. Pinkley, half 1st cousin twice removed
20 Apr 1880, Minnie Eagle Porter, Morgan Township, Knox, Ohio; wife of half 2nd cousin once removed, James "Ernest" Porter
23 Apr 1881, Jennie McCullough, half 2nd cousin once removed
26 Apr 1894, Ross Lee Rine, Knox, Ohio; husband of half 2nd cousin once removed, Neva May Porter
27 Apr 1896, Virtal Dean Pryor, Brown Township, Knox, Ohio; half 2nd cousin once removed
20 Apr 1898, Miles L. Izenberg, Fredericktown, Knox, Ohio; husband of half 3rd cousin, Myrtle Grace Lewis
20 Apr 1900, Laura Violet Lybarger Kaiser; 1st cousin once removed
24 Apr 1901, Paul Edgar Chadwick, Milford Township, Knox, Ohio; husband of half 3rd cousin, Ellen E. Hookway
03 Apr 1903, Dorothy Elizabeth Fultz Haskell, Knox, Ohio; half 3rd cousin
21 Apr 1904, Harriett Ellen Porter Garrad, Knox, Ohio; aunt
25 Apr 1905, Illo Anita Porter Primrose, Mount Vernon, Knox, Ohio; 1st cousin once removed
04 Apr 1920  Vaughn Burson, Knox, Ohio; half 3rd cousin
16 Apr 1924, Ned Eugene Cochran, Knox, Ohio; half 3rd cousin once removed
03 Apr 1926, Dwight Tucker "Shorty" Cochran Jr., Mount Vernon, Knox, Ohio; half 3rd cousin once removed
05 Apr 1927, Jean Maxine Porter Butt Randall, Mount Vernon, Knox, Ohio; half 3rd cousin

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ancestry's Civil War Daze

In remembrance of the 150th year anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Ancestry.Com has released millions of Civil War records. Many are linked to images at Footnote.Com. Many of these images are available for free between April 7 to April 14 2011.

There is a lot of new stuff available. However, I'm finding it hard to find anything pertinent to my research. I did find in the new database U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 the paper on which my half great greatuncle's name is listed. Others I'm researching that I know participated in the Civil War I am not finding. I have several Compiled Service Records but cannot find these in the U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 database. Matter of fact I cannot find any person who served in an Ohio unit. So maybe these records are not complete, but where does it state that?

I will continue to explore these new databases, but so far I'm not impressed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

From 20 to 18 in one day

I've managed to reduce the amount of years within which my 2nd great grandfather, William Porter, died. He appeared last in the 1860 federal census. He nor his wife are found in the 1870 census, but his wife, Catherine is a widow in the 1880 census. So for a couple years now I've been looking at a 20-year span. Well, today I was able to narrow that by 2 years and 1 month, Yes, 2 years and one month!  I know, I know. It's not a lot, but every little bit helps.

How was I able to shave that time off? I found a notice in the 27 Nov 1877 edition of the Mount Vernon Republican newspaper that stated Catherine Porter was delinquent in paying her real estate taxes on 4 1/2 acres located in Pleasant Township, Knox, Ohio. Does this absolutely prove that William is now dead? No, but it's a good bet that he is dead.

Unfortunately there are no tax lists available for the time period between 1860 and 1880 in Knox County. They supposedly just do not exist. Were they burned, thrown away, or are they just hidden away in some long-forgotten attic? I don't know, but it is a bummer.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Interlibrary Loan

I know that many people have used interlibrary loans to obtain books from other libraries. I have too, but this is the first time I've requested microfilm via interlibrary loan. I have ordered microfilm through my local Family History Center, but never through my local library. I really didn't know what to expect, but was happy to see that it wasn't a hard thing to do ... the library staff knew what had to be done and other than an email requesting the necessary fees everything went smoothly. It didn't take but a few days to have the microfilm at my local library. I would have thought it might take more than a week. It took over three weeks to get the film I had ordered from the Family History Library!

The Tompkins County Public Library has at least four microfilm readers, two of which have the capability to copy pages to a flash drive. Nice!

Four of the films were of Knox County, Ohio newspapers from the 1970s to mid-1990s. I found the obituaries I needed from these four films. The fifth film contains the "Knox County Republican" dating from Jun 1877 to Oct 1879. This one is taking me a little while as I'm actually reading the issues front to back, looking for anything to do with my Porter families. I think I can renew this at least once, so hopefully I'll get through all the issues before the film has to go back to the Ohio Historical Society.

I made the observation that it would be so much easier to browse these newspapers if they were the actual newspapers. Then I thought it will be nice when all of them are digitized so one can just enter a name and Viola! there are your ancestors. But then I remembered how much I enjoy this part of my research. It's so much fun to visit libraries, courthouses, research centers, etc. I think the digitization of the newspapers will help us find those hard-to-find ancestors and/or the snippets of news we might have missed browsing through using a microfilm reader, but I still enjoy loading the microfilm, zipping past issue after issue until I get to the date for which I'm searching, and then finding that glorious obituary or news article I was hoping to find!