Sunday, April 22, 2018

Italian for Genealogists

Here are a few basic Italian words used for genealogy. I thought it would be useful to have them all in one place.

Ancestors  Antenati
Genealogy  Genealogia

The basic types of records are:

Italian Numbers
1 uno
2 due
3 tre
4 quattro
5 cinque
6 sei
7 sette
8 otto
9 nove
10 dieci
11 undici
12 dodici
13 tredici
14 quattordici
15 quindici
16 sedici
17 diciassette
18 diciotto
19 diciannove
20 venti
21 ventuno
22 ventidue
23 ventitre'
24 ventiquattro
25 venticinque
26 ventisei 
27 ventisette
28 ventiotto
29 ventinove
30 trenta
40 quaranta
50 cinquanta
60 sessanta
70 settanta
80 ottanta
90 novanta
100 cento

Italian Months (not usually capitalized)

January gennaio
February febbraio
March marzo
April aprile
May maggio
June giguno
July luglio
August agosto
September settembre
October ottobre
November novembre
December dicembre

di in front of a name indicates living
du in front of a name indicates deceased

bambino...male baby

bambina...female baby






male...maschio, maschile

midwife...ostericia, levantrice


single...celibe, nubile




If you have any others please let me know and I will be happy to add them.

Here are some basic facts:
Italian women keep their maiden names for life, and do not take their husband's last name.
Records often give a baby's first name only, but if the father is listed, the last name is inferred.
Ages, occupations, and places of residence are usually given for all people on the form, and usually in that order.
Records begin with the date at the top, which is the date the info was reported to the town official, and not necessarily the date of the event.
Births had to be reported within three days, and the official had to actually see the child.
There had to be witnesses for all events.

Buona fortuna nella tua ricerca (Good luck in your search)
(Good luck in your search)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Edmund Tidwell 1758-1846 Revolutionary War Soldier

Edmund Tidwell was born 1758 in Virginia. He was the son of Richard J and Rachael Rebecca Helms Tidwell.

Edmund, sometimes shown as Edmond, married Anna Gladden Hollis about 1776. As near as I can determine, their children are:
Rebecca born 1778, Fairfield, South Carolina
Isaiah born 1781, Fairfield, South Carolina, married Rebecca Green Tucker
Richard born 1786 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Katie Jane Gladden
John Benson (or Benton) born 1786 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Rachel Meek, and Jane Gladden
Edmund Jr. born 1787 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married cousin Mary Nancy Tidwell, and Ann Rainey
Josiah born 1789 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Louvenia "Louvice" Roden
Jane born 1792 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Minor Gladden
Kisiah born 1793 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Abraham Davidson
Aquilla born 1795 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Mary Davidson
William born 1798 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Mariam McMurtry
Elizabeth born 1799 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Joseph Hiram Davidson
Silas born 1805 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Rachel Meek(s)
Benjamin Tidwell born 1807 in Fairfield, South Carolina, married Lucinda Meek(s)

Edmund served 120 Days in the SC Militia under Lt John Hollis. He is listed as DAR Patriot A115350. He received a land grant for service in what is now Nails Creek in Dickson County, Tennessee.

Goodspeed's History of Dickson County mentions Edmund as an early settler of Dickson County on Turnbull Creek in the 1790's from South Carolina.

Dec 31 1788 Richard Tidwell of Camden District, Fairfield County, SC sold land on Lick Creek to Edmond Tidwell of Camden District.

1790 Census of Fairfield County, South Carolina shows the name of the Head of each family in the county, with the number of free white people living in each house.

Tidwell, Edmond has eleven people in his household.

3 Mar 1802 (Chester) SC. Jeremiah (x) RODEN to Edmund TIDWELL, both of Chester for 4150, 100 ac. on Long Branch, waters of Sealy Creek, bound by George BROWN. Wit. E. NUNN and Loften NUNN. Bk. I, p. 69.

July 3 1809 Edmund Tidwell & Moses Hollis (his father in law) received a land grant on Wateree Creek in Fairfield County, South Carolina.

The Tidwell Bible, which I have only seen transcribed online, has the following entries:

Edmund Tidwell Sr. departed this life
May 12th 1846 Aged 88 years
Anna Tidwell his wife departed this life

November 11 1839 age 70

There are also entries for his children.
Photo used with permission, taken by Kenneth Greene, Jr.

Marker located in Hogin Cemetery, Burns, Dickson, Tennessee
Inscription:In honor of Revolutionary War Soldier of South Carolina. 120 days under command of Lt. John Hollis. Buried elsewhere in Dickson County.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Learning to Read Italian Records-Part One-Birth Records

Italian records are a treasure trove of information, but where do you start when you can't read Italian?

Luckily, most Italian records are neatly written on forms. With a few handy words, you can make out the basics without knowing the language. I am far from an expert, and all my Italian came from the television. If I can do it, so can you.

The place to begin would be the Italian site Antenati (Ancestors)
Antenati in Italian
Don't get scared off just yet, there is an option to use English on the home page. Just click the little British flag in the top right.
Ancestors in English
You can begin your search using Find Names, although only a small percentage are indexed.

Here are some basic facts:
Italian women keep their maiden names for life, and do not take their husband's last name.
Records often give a baby's first name only, but if the father is listed, the last name is inferred.
Ages, occupations, and places of residence are usually given for all people on the form, and usually in that order.
Records begin with the date at the top, which is the date the info was reported to the town official, and not necessarily the date of the event.
Births had to be reported within three days, and the official had to actually see the child.
There had to be witnesses for all events.

Searching for Fratoddi in Find Names yields 7 results. If you are using an option that automatically translates to English, you may want to turn it off, as the results will come over garbled up. Here's what I got:

Apri by the way means open.

The basic types of records are:

Birth Record of the above Pietro Fratoddi. 
Enlargement can be found by clicking here (opens in new tab)

At the top of the record is the date. This is always the date the event was reported. For help with months and days see Italian for Genealogists. (opens in new window)

You don't have to worry about translating the year, as the antenati website will always have the year of the record at the top of the page. In this example, the year is 1896, the day is tredici (13), and the month Agosto (August).
Next is the time reported, followed by the town official's name and titles that the event was reported to, and the commune (town). 
Then comes the good part.

Look for the word comparso or comparsa (appeared) after the name of the town. This will be the name of the person reporting the birth, (usually the father or midwife) in this case Orazio Fratoddi, di anni (of years-age) trentanove (39) followed by his occupation. I can't make out the first word, sorry, but the 2nd I believe is postale (postal) so maybe he's a mailman? His domiciliato (town he resides in) is Taranto. 

He declared the birth was A.M., quattro (5) (so born 5am, minutes are blank). The next field is the day of the month, dieci (10), the next blank is for the month, in this case corrente (current, so August), followed by where born (in this case a street name). 

This is followed by the mother's name, Erminia Sartori of Verona, di (of) Pietro (her father's name). If her father was deceased it would be du, so he is living. The next word is her age trenta (30).  
This should be followed by her occupation which again I can't make out. I don't see any words referring to married, but the last one is convivente (cohabitant).

The next part we see maschile (male) and the child's name Pietro Guilo. The rest of the document are the witnesses, who are usually not relatives.

So, for genealogy purposes, we have Pietro Guilo Fratoddi, born 5am on the 10th of August, 1896, in Tarento. Father is Orazio Fratoddi, 39, of Tarento, and mother Erminia Sartori, 30, of Verona, daughter of Pietro, who is still living.

Here are some Italian words for family to get you started:

bambino...male baby

bambina...female baby






male...maschio, maschile

midwife...ostericia, levantrice


single...celibe, nubile




All birth records follow basically the same format, so once you know what fields to look for, you can get the basic facts.

I highly recommend the Facebook group Italian Genealogy if you get stuck, they are very knowledgeable with both the records and the language.

I would love to hear of any finds you make in the Italian records.

Next time I'll cover Morti, the death records.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Chasing Squirrels Leads to BIG Find

  © Copyright Peter Trimming and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Chasing squirrels: a genealogy term used when you start researching one person, then pick up the scent of another, and start chasing them instead. Frowned upon by many, but sometimes quite productive.

Case in point: I ocassionally Google my Fratoddi surname in Italy, and after filtering out three of my cousins there that regularly rank high on Google's results, I sometimes find little nuggets.

This was how I came across a newspaper article in Germany about my great grandfather which you can read about here.

This weekend I came across Carolina Fratoddi, who had the luck of being included in a Google book in Italian, which translated as Inscriptions of churches and other edifices of Rome from the eleventh century to the present day, published in 1877.

This photo was included:

I reached out to the Italian Genealogy group on Facebook, where I received exactly what I needed. "What you're looking at is a description of a memorial to Carolina Fratoddi from 1866 located in in the "Basilica di Santa Maria in Montesanto" in Rome. Carolina was Roman, the daughter of Angelo and her husband was Alexandro Rinaldini. The memorial is described here as a portrait in marble, in bas-relief (probably at the top, then the inscription in a plaque beneath). It says here this memorial can be found on the left wall of the second chapel on the right (inside the church)."

How awesome is that! Further discussion led to another comment that Rome records were now included in the Italian website Antenati

I dropped Carolina like a hot rock and headed over. I bagged my 2x great grandfather and several of his children, which thanks to the incredible detail of Italian records, led to his parents in Montereale.

Stay tuned, details coming soon!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sarah Jane McNamara Baine 1880-1972

Sarah Jane McNamara Baine about 1900

The elegant lady in the above photo is my 2nd great aunt, Sarah Jane McNamara Baine. She was born January 6, 1880 in Clarksville, Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Irish immigrants Daniel McNamara and Jane McKenzie. She was one of at least 11 children.

1880 Census Clarksville, Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Sarah married John William "Dock" Baine January 1, 1903.

Sarah's age was "adjusted" just a bit.

John and Sarah made their home in Universal, Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. They had at least one child, Catherine, born in 1904.

Sarah lived to the age of 92, dying July 23, 1972. She is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

Sarah Baine's signature as informant on her husband's death certificate, 1943

Saturday, April 2, 2016

My Colorful Ancestry Birthplace Chart

My friend J Paul Hawthorne had a great idea for visualizing ancestors birthplaces. It's been all over the internet lately. I'm a bit slow posting to my blog, but here's mine.

Carrying it one generation further

These are created from spreadsheets that you can open in Open Office, Excel, Google Sheets, or probably any other spreadsheet program that's out there.

The easiest place to find these templates was provided by  on his blog Genea-Musings. Clicking on the links provided will download the templates to your computer.

I had a lot of fun brushing up on my spreadsheet skills, and enjoyed seeing #MyColorfulAncestory.

Thanks J Paul!. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bernardino Fratoddi's Brush With Royalty

As genealogists, we all would love to find a connection to royalty. Mine came in an unexpected way.

Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Queen consort of Croatia and Bohemia, was a beloved member of the royal family. I can see why, as she was very beautiful. She married Emperor Franz Joseph I when she was 16.
Empress Elisabeth at her
coronation as Queen of Hungary, 8 June 1867. Public Domain

While travelling in Geneva September 10, 1898, she was stabbed to death by an Italian anarchist named Luigi Lucheni. He was rather proud of the murder, and was arrested soon after. He freely admitted to the murder, and had wanted to gain martyrdom and widespread publicity for the anarchist cause.
Luigi Lucheni in custody. Public domain

My connection? My great grandfather Bernardino Fratoddi was later arrested for this same crime. I found this article while searching The European Library for the name Fratoddi.

Berliner Volkszeitung (Peoples Daily) 12 April 1902
Translation kindly provided by +Jack Coffee :

"On the wrong track. Yesterday we received from Duesseldorf a message regarding the earlier reported arrest of Bernadino Fratoddi (not Frateldi), a 35-year-old Italian: As a result of a thorough investigation, Fratoddi was found to have played absolutely no part in the murder of Empress Elizabeth of Austria. He was apprehended because he was expelled from Germany and was suspected of being an anarchist. In addition to having a letter from the local police confirming that he was a hard worker, Fratoddi wrote a letter while he was in jail to his previous employer resolutely denying that he was in any way associated with anarchy. He much rather professed to be a supporter of social-democracy."

Searching for Frateldi yielded this article from two days earlier, April !0.

Tranlation again provided by +Jack Coffee 

An Arrest. From the Dusseldorf "Rhein Wests"(?) Newspaper reports here of the arrest of Anarchist the Italian Bernardino Frattodi. The arrest reportedly pertains to the assassination of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria. Frattodi was at the time of the assassination of Empress Elizabeth in Switzerland, where he was residing(?) with other Italians. The "Borio"(?) asserts Frattodi, whom he calls Frateldi, was not an anarchist, but a Socialdemocrat.

It is unclear from the article exactly when he was arrested, or how long it took to clear his name, although it appears it was only a few days. Perhaps there were conspiracy theories. I know he was one of 16 anarchists expelled from Switzerland in November 1898.

Bernardino is #9

He took refuge in Germany where he was "hunted in 1902 for anarchist propaganda". This may be a result of that hunt.

Only a few months later, Bernardino boarded the steamship Lahn in Naples, and arrived in New York on August 18, 1902.

His application for citizenship specifically asked if he was an anarchist, to which he replied no.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

How Can You Have an Anonymous Mother?

I requested the Certicati di Nascita (birth record) of my great grandmother Giulia Montagna from Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. I had her date of birth from her death certificate in Alabama, Her parents' names from her marriage in Manhattan, NY and the place of her birth from her husband's naturalization papers.
I sent an email to the State Archives in Bologna and requested they look for the certificate and notify me of any charges:

 Gentile Direttrice:

 Sono alla ricerca della mia storia famigliare, gradirei, se le fosse possibile, richiedere il suo aiuto.

 Per favore, mi potrebbe spedire i Certicati di Nascita di Guilia Montagna, nato il 10 ottobre, 1878 e tutte le informazioni sui suoi genitori. Credo che siano Georgio Montagna e Elisabetta Bonnine.  Se questi certificati includono anche i nomi dei loro genitori, se per cortesia, potrebbe inviarmi anche i loro. Se ci sono altri bambini nati da loro sarei grato per queste informazioni.

 Se vi è una tassa per le informazioni, si prega di avvisare che cosa è e come si vorrebbe pagamento.

 Gentile Direttrice, la ringrazio infinitamente del suo aiuto. Nel caso che i dati non siano disponibili la pregherei di inviarmi comunque una nota negativa.

 Inoltre, se i documenti non ci sono per quel periodo, o se Lei conosce altre fonti, Le sarei grata se potesse suggerirmi come proseguire la mia ricerca.

 Le invio i miei piu' sinceri e cordiali saluti.
 Beverly Norman

No, I do not speak Italian, but there are forms to be found on the Internet, and Google Translate. I had my fingers crossed That it would be understandable.
38 days later, I had a response in my inbox! There was no charge for the document (whew!)


SUBJECT: sending reproduction birth certificate of Julia Maspucci then Recognized As Giulia Montagna born in Bologna in 1878. With reference to the request object, I send photo reproduction of the document taken
from register of civil status of the town of Bologna Relating To Those born in 1878. best regards Signed DIRECTOR

Giulia Elvira Teresa ... Maspucci. I never has a middle name before, and was not expecting a different last name!

Maspucci ?? So what the heck happened? Was she adopted? This was not the typical fill in the blank form I was expecting. I needed some help. I turned to the Italian Genealogy group on Facebook .

They came through with a translation for me. Here is a mashup of the conversation:

October 10, 1878 Born at 11 am and the child was presented to the officer of vital records in the town of Bologna before 12 on the same day / same month and residing in the same city by a woman named Maria Massucci, (not Maspucci) age 57 years, midwife, residing at (street) # 28 "Via Republicana" (?) (she was presenting the child born to a woman / lady -that Wished not to be Identified) (Did not give consent) Child was given the name Giulia Elvira Teresa and the last name of Massucci. On 27/02/1896 marriage act # 449 for Giorgio Montagna & Elisa Bonini (?) Could the "9" be "7"? the marriage act 27 February 1876? It looks like she (Julia) was the "legitimate" daughter of Giorgio Montagna (sp?) And Elisa (sp?) Bonini / Bonnini (sp?) and that they (her parents) were married (marriage Celebrated in) Rome - Feb. 27, 1896.
The notation on the other side is where she is recognized as the daughter of Georgio Montagna, hence her new last name.
The information was entered into the ledger in 1882.

One of the members of the group went the extra mile and requested a translation from in Rome. Here is Their response:
Giulia Massucci was born in Bologna on Oct. 10 1878 to a woman who does not want to be mentioned, and she was given the name "Giulia Elvira Teresa" and surname Massucci (this is the first line of the second page).
The side note on the first page states that on Oct 14 1886 she was recognized by her father Giorgio Montagna. (From now on her surname should be Montagna)
The side note on the second page states that Feb 2 1896 Giorgio Montagna married Elisa Bonini and they both legitimated Giulia.
The double "s" in old documents was Often written as "sf". This portion of the document has notes about the marriage.

What could be the reason for the anonymous mother? She could have been unwed. She could have already have been married to someone else. The father could have been married to someone else.

After doing some reading in the excellent resource, "Italian Genealogical Records" by Trafford R Cole, Psy.D., I found another possibility. 

Beginning in 1866, the town officials were responsible for recording all births, marriages, and deaths. The child had to be personally presented to the town official to register the birth.
After the Kingdom of Italy was formed, Pope Pius IX was totally against the new country. He had controlled the city of Rome and the central portion of the country know as the Papal States. The Church lost the battle (literally). The Pope did not give in quietly, and prohibited all faithful Catholics from participating in the political system. 

A power struggle arose between the Officials and the Church. Many people were married by the Church, but did not register the marriage with the city officials. The town would not recognize the marriage and would record all of the children resulting from these marriages as illegitimate. The couple would finally be forced to remarry in a civil ceremony and recognize their "illegitimate" children. From 1865 to about 1880 there are many cases of the marriage being recorded after the couple had several children. 

I may at some future date try to see if there is a church record in Bologna for the marriage of Georgio Montagna and Elizabetta Bonini. Giulia's baptism should be there too.

If you have any thoughts on this, I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I'm a Daughter of the South

Yep, that's me... Alabama born and bred. George Wallace was Governor or husband of the Governor and finally former Governor in all the Alabama history books I studied from in school.

I grew up in segregated grammar schools, and in my first year in junior high, the schools were suddenly not segregated. It seemed to bother the adults, but not so much the kids. We scoped each other out, then got along, then made friends, worked and played the ALABAMA...and all was good.

I grew up, got a job, made friends, some of whom I confide my deepest secrets to...guess what...they are Black. Does it matter? Not to me, not to them. We just call each other friend.

Am I proud of my heritage? Yes I am. I'm a daughter of the south. Growing up I was told that all my ancestors were poor and never owned slaves. I've proved that wrong since I've been doing genealogy for years. I've found a few slave owners. I've also found the poor dirt farmers that the slave owner's daughters married. The ones that went to war...under THAT flag. The ones that died and left wives and small children behind. The Stars and Bars...THAT flag. The one that is suddenly causing so much controversy. Do I apologize? No. I didn't have anything to do with it. It's history. I had no more to do with it than with Cain killing Abel.

Do I think it symbolizes slavery? I know it does to many. I've done my reading. I believe it symbolizes the Rebel in us all. I've seen a lot of misinformation, some meant to inflame. I'm not going there. I don't believe anything I have to say would change anyone's mind on the notions they already have. I'll just ask that you actually read the Emancipation Proclamation:
Library of Congress. Public Domain.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of Civil War. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

What does THAT FLAG mean to me? That I'm from the South, that I've got ancestors who died for it. I've got a little bit of Rebel in me.

Do I think it should fly over our capitol dome? No, I don't.
Do I think it should fly at Civil War memorials? Yes I do.
Do I feel that citizens of the United States should be able to fly THAT flag if they choose? Yes I do.
Do I think that all Civil War memorials should come down? I think that's ridiculous. The founding fathers owned slaves. Why would you erase history just because you don't like it?

In the news today I'm seeing news reports of defacement of memorials, calls for the Confederate Battle Flag flying high on I-65 to come down (it is on private property and flies over a Confederate Memorial Park), memorials in city parks to come down. It scares me. ISIS is doing the same thing to sites that offend them. Where will it stop?

Yes, we lost the War Between the States. We realize this. The flag remained a symbol of Southern Pride, sort of like our state motto "We Dare Defend Our Rights". Somehow the thought that this country was founded by traitors to the British flag escapes some people. I'm descended from those Rebels too.

The flag has become a symbol of hate groups, and I HATE hate groups. I HATE that that deranged guy in South Carolina was trying to start a race war, and this controversy has given him the attention he was looking for.

Do I think that everyone that owns a coffee cup, bumper sticker, or T-shirt with a Rebel flag is proclaiming they are a hater? No. If you do all I can say is well bless your heart!

I personally don't fly the battle flag. I realize some people find it offensive, and I respect that. I am shocked that now many retailers are no longer selling the Confederate battle flag. How will I decorate my ancestors's graves?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Kicking Butt in 1789, Isaiah and Joel Jr Phillips

I discovered an interesting court case while researching Phillips in Wilkes County, Georgia. This case concerns Isaiah and Joel Phillips Jr., sons of Joel Phillips. Both were born about 1760. I found this in the Georgia Archives

According to the plaintiff, John Hardee, Isaiah and Joel Phillips Jr, "on the fifth day of December in the year of our [Lord] one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine in the county aforesaid, with force and arms, to Whit, with Swords, Staves, Gunns, knives, Clubs, fists & feet, made an assault upon your petitioner, and then and there did beat, wound and evily treat, so that his life was Greatly dispared of and other enormities then and there did, to your petitioner against the peace and dignity of the State, and against the welfare of the Inhabitance thereof, to the damage of your petitioner, five hundred pounds."

In other words, it appears Isaiah and Joel beat the stew out of John Hardee, and he was suing for five hundred pounds. Unfortunately none of the juicy details were included in the four page document.

Isaiah and Joel (or their attorney) were required to appear in court the fourth Monday in July 1790. They were charged with trespass, assault, and battery.

There appears to have been a jury trial, and the defendants were found guilty. The funny thing is, they were only required to pay 10 pounds instead of the 500 pounds that John Hardee was suing for.

I was curious as to how this would work out in today's money. I found a nice currency converter at the National Archives. It converts old money to new, at least to 2005's standard, which is close enough for me.

John Hardee sued for 500 pounds.
In 1790, £500 would have the same spending worth of 2005's £28,015.00.
A little google search and
28015 British Pound equals
42797.11 US Dollar

And the result:
In 1790, £10 would have the same spending worth of 2005's £560.30

A little googling with that result and we come up with this:

560.30 British Pound equals
855.94 US Dollar
It looks like they got off fairly easy. It is not stated if they had to pay this individually or together. Either way it's a BIG drop from what they were being sued for.

It makes you wonder what was in those court minutes, doesn't it?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembering Private Kenneth George Wrigley POW Sandakan North Borneo

Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of QX21789 Private Kenneth George Wrigley 
Copyright expired - public domain 

From Australian War Memorial: The above photo is a Queensland Australia Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of QX21789 Private Kenneth George Wrigley, 2/10th Ordnance Field Workshop, Australian Army Ordnance Corps. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of E Force. The 500 Australian and 500 British POW's who made up E Force left Changi on 28 March 1943, on board the S.S. DeKlerk arriving at Berhala Island (adjacent to Sandakan Harbour) on 15 April 1943. The POW's were held there until 5 June, when they were taken by barge to Sandakan. The next day they were transferred to the 8 Mile Camp, which was about half a mile from the B Force compound. Private Wrigley, aged 24, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 26 February 1945. He was the son of Walter James Wrigley and Mable Elizabeth Mary Bullock Wrigley, of Murgon, Queensland. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 28. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)

Kenneth was born March 23, 1920 in Murgon, Queensland, Australia. He was almost 25 when he died.

From Sandakan Death Marches Wikipedia: In 1942 and 1943, Australian and British POWs who had been captured at the Battle of Singapore in February 1942 were shipped to North Borneo to construct a military airstrip and prisoner-of-war camps at Sandakan, North Borneo (Sabah). The prisoners were forced to work at gunpoint, and were often beaten while also receiving very little food or medical attention. In August 1943, with the intention of controlling the enlisted men by removing any commanders, most officer prisoners were moved from Sandakan to the Batu Lintang camp at Kuching. Conditions for the remaining prisoners deteriorated sharply following the officers' removal. Any rations given were further reduced, and sick prisoners were also forced to work on the airstrip. After construction was completed the prisoners initially remained at the camp. In January 1945, with only 1,900 prisoners still alive, the advancing Allies managed to successfully bomb and destroy the airfield. It was at this time with Allied landings anticipated shortly that camp commandant Captain Hoshijima Susumu decided to move the remaining prisoners westward into the mountains to the town of Ranau, a distance of approximately 160 miles.

The first phase of marches across wide marshland, dense jungle, and then up the eastern slope of Mount Kinabalu occurred between January and March 1945. The Japanese had selected 470 prisoners who were thought to be fit enough to carry baggage and supplies for the accompanying Japanese battalions relocating to the western coast. In several groups the POWs, all of whom were either malnourished or suffering serious illness, started the journey originally under the intention of reaching Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu). Although the route took nine days, they were given enough rations for only four days. As on the Bataan Death March, any POWs who were not fit enough or collapsed from exhaustion were either killed or left to die en route. Upon reaching Ranau, the survivors were halted and ordered to construct a temporary camp. "Those who survived... were herded into insanitary and crowded huts to then die from dysentery. By 26 June, only five Australians and one British soldier were still alive."

Kenneth was my husband's second cousin, once removed. Rest in peace Kenneth.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Meggs to Meigs and Back Again-Same but Different #52Ancestors

Wikipedia, public domain, Snowflakes

I recently had a fourth cousin once removed contact me through my blog. I was glad to meet my cousin Wendell Meggs. He is 91 years young, and he allowed me to share this story:

     That "second name change", as I call it - after Vincent or John first changed from Meggs to Meigs back in about 1644, when they moved from Mass. to CT.
     My Grandfather, James Anderson Meggs, 1872, told me this story:  Stephen C Meggs, (great grandson of John T)  born 1868 in Bibb Co., AL, left to go to medical school when he was old enough. He did become a DR. While away he met some people whose name sounded like his surname, only they spelled it Meigs. He became convinced that the original spelling was Meigs. When he got back to AL from his studies, he began persuading as many as possible to change the spelling of their surname from Meggs to Meigs.
     My Grandfather was the first born in the family of Stephen Strider Meggs in Sep. 1872. After Dr. Stephen began his effort to change names, my great grandfather Stephen S Meggs b 1846, did change to Meigs. 8 of his 12 children changed as well. My grandfather and 3 other siblings did not change. I met my grandfather's brother Walter one time in the 1960s and he was a Meigs.
     James Elijah Meggs, who wrote the book about the descendants of John T, said that the name was always spelled MEGGS in England, which, of course, is the origin of our name.
    I'm glad to share that story. In the time that I knew him, starting in 1925 when he and the remaining family moved to Nashville, where we were living at that time, he was always a stubborn man, and my Dad and a couple of his brothers were just as stubborn. So it is no wonder to me that he refused to change the spelling of his name.
     Certainly you may use that story on your blog. As you, no doubt know, some of the websites don't like to use undocumented stories as part of their records.
     That story about the name change has a bearing on John T as well. He started life as a Meggs, but then long after he was dead some began to use the Meigs for his name. That plus the fact that so many say that John T's father was Stephen Strider Meigs (Jr), who was in the French and Indian War (1756-1763) and may well have been in the Northwest corner of Virginia, where there was fierce fighting during the period of John T's birth.
     If you find any other information about John T, I would really like to hear it. I am hoping I can the complete story about John T and Polly before I get completely unable to keep searching.

Best regards, Wendell Meggs

My reply:
Hi Wendell,
I'll be more than happy to share any stories you would like to tell...
I think it's important to record them. Unless you've written a book, you may be the only one that would know them.
I consider it to be documented as long as I can document where I got the story :--)

I, like Wendell, would love to hear any info you have on John T Meggs and family. Hopefully Wendell has more stories he would like to tell.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sergeant Caleb Rogers Warnick CSA of Alabama 1829-1917

Caleb Rogers Warnick was born January 15, 1829 in Blount County, Alabama. He was the oldest child of Robert W. and Malinda Cheney Warnick.

The 1830 Blount County, Alabama census shows Robert W Warnick as head of household. 1 male under 5, 1 male 20-30, 1 female under 5, 1 female 20-30.

The 1840 Blount County census shows
Robert Warnock head of household
1 M under 5 (Henry 1840)
3 M 5 – 9 (John 1831, Caleb 1829, Unknown)
1 M 30 – 39 (Robert)
1 F under 5 (Mary 1838)
1 F 10 – 15 (Delila 1829)
1 F 30 – 39 (Melinda)

1850 17th Subdivision Blount County, Alabama
Wornack R.W. 45 M Farmer Ga. Can't read and write
Wornack Delila 21 F Ala. Can't read and write
Wornack Caleb 16 M Farmer Ala.
Wornack Mary 12 F Ala.
Wornack Henry 10 M Ala.
Wornack Andrew 8 M Ala.
Wornack Rebecca 6 F Ala.

Caleb married Sophronia Holley July 27, 1854 in Blount County, Alabama.

They were the parents of at least ten children:
George Washington born 1855, married Flora Jane Cargo
Margaret "Maggie" born 1858, married Charles Scott Mann
James P born 1859, married Manerva Jane Marsh
H A (male) born 1862
Nancy born 1866
Mary C born 1869, married John William Brown
John Wesley "West" born 1874, married Constance Belma "Connie" Freeman
Gibbie Catherine born 1878, married Preston Lewis Ethridge
Gus born 1881, married Nellie Gray
Richard, birth unknown, died before 1892, married Molly Honeycut

1860 Western Division Blount, Alabama
WORNICK CALEB 27 M W AL Farm Laborer, Personal Property 1300, can not read and write
Sophona, 22, AL, can not read and write
George W, 5, AL
Margaret, 3, AL
James P, 1

Caleb enlisted in Blountsville, Blount, Alabama as a Sergeant May 14, 1862 in Morgan's Kentucky Cavalry, Company G, of the 2nd Kentucky Regiment (Colonel Duke's Regiment), under Capt. McFarland, commanded by John H. Morgan, C.S.A. Even though this was a Kentucky regiment, 64 of its members were recruited in Blountsville, Alabama. You can find info on Morgan's Raiders and the Lexington Rifles with a google search. I have included a few links at the end of this blog for further reading if you are interested. They were active in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio. One fact I found interesting, they became the Confederate force that penetrated the farthest north into Union territory during the Civil War.

Caleb was wounded in the battle of Bacon Creek, Kentucky. He was captured at Buffington Island, Ohio July 19, 1863, and sent to Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana July 23, 1863. He was sent to Camp Douglas, Illinois August 18, 1863. He was transferred to Point Lookout, Maryland for exchange February 21, 1865. He was discharged March 18, 1865.

CSA prisoners at Camp Douglas in August 1863 shows Caleb Warnick Pvt. G Co. 2nd Kentucky Cavalry captured 19 Jul 1863 at Buffington Island. Third entry #304. Image provided by Kevin Dwyer

1870 Blountsville, Blount County, Alabama

Womack, C R, 36, Farmer, Real Estate 100, Personal 200 (Caleb R)
Womack, J S, 33, F, Keeping house (Sophronia J)
Womack, G W, 14, M, Attended School (George W)
Womack, W A, 13, F, Attended School (Margaret)
Womack, J P, 11, M, Attended School (James P)
Womack, West, 8, M, Attended School (John Wesley)
Womack, Nancy, 4, F
Womack, M C, 1, F (Mary C)

December 24, 1872, Caleb purchased land in Blount county.

1880 I have not been able to locate Caleb, and of course the 1890 census was destroyed. This is a big gap that I've not been able to fill.

On February 18, 1892 Caleb agreed that custody of his grandson, Edward Warnick, would be given to John W Brown. John was the husband of Caleb's daughter Mary C. Warnick. Edward's mother was Molly Honeycut.

State of Alabama
Jefferson County

This agreement made and entered into this 18th day of Feby. 1892, by and between C. R. Warnick and Molly Warnick witnesseth: that they both agree & consent that the Habeas Corpus proceeding against C. R. Warnick inslithled {instigated?} by Molly Warnick for the recovery of her child Edward, shall be dismissed, and that Jno. W. Brown, the Uncle of the child Edward shall take possession of the child & act as it's guardian & custodian for the purpose of protection & raising it and shall act as it's lawful guardian.
Witness our hands & seals this 18th day of Feby. 1892
J. W. Russell
Jno. McQueen
Molie Warnick
C. R. Warnick

per J R Warnick

Caleb's wife Sophronia died January 5, 1898 and was buried in Dolomite, Jefferson, Alabama at Bethlehem Methodist Church Cemetery.

1900 finds Caleb in Jefferson County, Alabama, Precinct 7. This would be around present day Hueytown. He is living with his son John and his family.
Warnick, John W, Mar 1875, 25, married 1 year, self and parents born AL, coal miner
Connie B, wife, Aug 1881, 18, married 1 year, 0 children, 0 living, born AL, father SC, mother GA
Caleb, ?relationship, Jan 1831, 69, widowed, born AL, father TN, mother VA, farmer
Ida A, grandaughter (of Caleb), born Apr 1878, 22, single, self and parents AL, no occupation

Caleb filed for his Confederate pension in 1910 at the age of 80. He was granted pension number 3561.

In 1910, Caleb is still living in Precinct 7, but now with his daughter Gibby and her family. There is a big ink blot or hole in part of the family. Ida is still with Caleb. I believe she must have helped care for Caleb.
Ethridge, Preston L 37 M W AL Occupation Foreman, mines coal, self and parents born AL
????, wife, 31, married 13 years, 1 child, 1 living, self and parents born AL (Gibbie)
???dine, daughter, 11, born AL (Claudine)
Warnick, Calob R, Father-in-law, 80, born AL, Father born TN, Mother born VA
Warnick, Ida R, sister-in-law, 32, single, self and parents AL
Gamble, Jodie, boarder, F, B, 47, Widowed, 7 children, 6 living, self and parents born GA, servant, private home
Gamble, Rosett, boarder, F, B, 10, self and parents born GA

Caleb died September 14, 1917 in Rutledge Springs (present day Fairfield Highlands).
Here is the obit.
The Birmingham Age-Herald
Friday, September 14, 1917
News of Ensley

C.R. Warnick, a pioneer citizen of Jefferson county, died Friday morning at 1 o'clock at the home of his son, J. W. Warnick, at Rutledge Springs. Mr. Warnick had been ill with pneumonia for only a week. He was 88 years of age. Surviving him are four sons; G. W. Warnick of Boaz, J. P. Warnick of Marvel, J. W. Warnick of Rutledge Springs, and Gus Warnick of Piper; two daughters Mrs. C. W. Mann of Amory, Miss., and Mrs. P. L. Etheridge of Central Park. The funeral will take place at Bethlehem church this morning at 11 o'clock with Echols and Angwine in charge, interment following at the same place.

More on Morgan's Raiders

Sunday, March 15, 2015

DNA and Dumplings

Am I Irish? AncestryDNA says I am 31%, although I suspect some of that Western Europe may be a bit of Irish too.

Some of my known Irish ancestors from my paternal side are:

James McGowan born 1833. He immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania July 18, 1850 aboard the Barque Creole, and settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He died there March 18, 1889.

Bridget Conlon born May 18, 1837. Her parents were Michael and Ellen per her death certificate. On the 1900 census, she states she immigrated in 1855. She married James McGowan. After his death she moved to Birmingham, Alabama with her son Patrick.

Archibald McKenzie christened October 11, 1818 in Macroom, Cork, Ireland. He was the son of Murdock and Sarah McKenzie. He immigrated about 1863 and settled in Beaver Falls, Beaver, Pennsylvania.

Jane McKenzie born on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 1842, probably in Macroom, Cork. She was the daughter of Archibald McKenzie and Elizabeth Brown. She immigrated to New York June 23, 1864 on the Ship Marianne Nottebohm.

Daniel McNamara born March, 1841, possibly in Cork. He immigrated to New York December 28, 1863 aboard the ship Universe. He married Jane McKenzie and settled in Universal, Pennsylvania. Their daughter Lizzie married Patrick McGowan.

My maternal side also has Irish surnames, but they have all been in the US much longer than my paternal side. I have not been able to trace most of them back to Ireland yet. Some of those are:

William McCullough born 1793 in South Carolina.

Daniel Gibson born about 1680 in Augusta, Virginia.

Samuel Cargo born about 1745 in Augusta, Virginia.

James McDole or McDowell was born in Ireland about 1745 and died November 6, 1840 in Laurens, South Carolina.

I also have the Warnick surname on my maternal line. I haven't been able to determine for certain if it's an Irish or German line. Warnock is Irish, and Warnecke is German. Online trees have my Warnick line connected to Ireland, but I'm not entirely sure that's correct. There are some gaps in the paper trail. Oral history of this family line says they are German. Hopefully DNA will provide further clues....and then there are the chicken and dumplings. My mom's recipe handed down from the women in her family were the German style, made like fist sized simmered biscuits, and not the rolled out noodle style.. maybe there's a clue in that?

I'd love to hear the origins of dumplings in your family...which type and family origins.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Slaves Found in My Family History Research

Schalene Dagutis had a great idea in coming up with the Slave Name Roll Project. The idea is to post the names of slaves found in your family history research to help those looking for their slave ancestors. I will be adding to this post as I discover others.
James Hopkinson's Plantation. Planting sweet potatoes. ca. 1862/63 Henry P. Moore - Library of Congress
Slaves of William Cornelius (from his will, Blount, Alabama 1840)
I give and have given to my eldest daughter Amy Cargill, the wife of Cornelius Cargill, one Negro girl named Charlotte and her child Lucy.

I give and have given to my eldest son Jesse Cornelius, on Negro boy named Isaiah.

I have given to my son Aaron Cornelius one Negro girl named Leah and her two children, one girl named Harlot, {Hariot or Harriett?} and one boy named Lewis.

I give and have given to my son William Cornelius two Negro boys (brothers), one named Jacob in his possession and the other named Andrew.

I have given to my son Champion Cornelius one Negro girl named Ann and her two children, one named Ransom and the other name Metilda. {Matilda}

I have given to my son Beverly Cornelius two Negro girls, one named Ester {Esther} and the other named Tener.

I have given to my daughter Lettice Cooks children, on Negro girl named Marah.

I have given to my daughter Tabitha Hays one Negro girls named Elinar. {Eleanor}

I have given and bequeath to my son Abner Cornelius on Negro boy named Stuard. {Stewart Steward}

Slaves of Augustus Wheat  (Atlanta, DeKalb County, Campbellton, Campbell County, Douglas County Georgia)

1850, Atlanta, DeKalb, Georgia
22 year old female

1860 Campbellton, Campbell, Georgia
a 45 year old female and two children, both 7 years old, male and female

Indentured former slave children
1866 Campbellton, Campbell, Georgia

Thompson Wheat* boy twelve years old, Mary Wheat a girl seven years old, Edwin Wheat** a boy five years old and Nancy Wheat*** a girl three years old.
*Married 30 Sep 1873 Campbell, Georgia to Elizzie Smith
** born August 1859, died 7 August 1921. Married Laura Ellison 23 December 1888 in Douglas, Georgia..

April 1867
Augustus Wheat 15 years old

22 June 1867
Robert Edmondson 16 years old

1880 GA Douglas Co., District 1273,Roll T9_144; FHF 1254144, Pg 185.1000, ED50, dwell 127, lines 12-16, June ??
Wheate, Mary 56, widow, white, GA, GA, GA, keeping house, can read & write
Wheate, Gilbert, son, 18, white, GA, GA, GA, farm labor, can read & write
Wheate, Alzira, dau., 14, white, GA, GA, GA, at home, can read & write
Wheate, Ed, son**,18, black, GA, GA, GA, farm labor, cannot read or write
Wheate, Nancy, dau.***, 15, black, GA, GA, GA, farm labor, cannot read or write

Slaves of Moses Kirkland (will dated March 7, 1847, Henry County, Alabama)
...unto my daughter Ailcey Bracken, a negro boy named Abram, also a negro girl named Eveline...said negroes are now in her possession... her husband Mathew Brackin.
...unto my daughter Ruth Kirkland, two negroes, a girl named Hannah and a boy named Alex already in her possession...her said husband William S. Kirkland.
...unto my son, Benjamin Kirkland a negro boy named Alford and one named Service already in his possession.
...unto my son Willis Kirkland, a negro boy named Green and one named Jacob already in his possession.
...unto my son Josiah Kirkland one negro boy named Melvin and one named Daniel already in his possession.

Slaves of William Crabtree (will dated November 4, 1747, Baltimore, Maryland)
...unto my loving wife Jane Crabtree one Irish servant lad called Alexander Anderson, during her widowhood, then to go to my son William Crabtree. my son Thomas Crabtree one servant man that Samuel Webb owes me... my son John Crabtree one Negro boy called Duke...

Slaves of James Warnock (will dated January 16, 1804,  Wilson County, Tennessee) my beloved wife Rhoda a negro wench named Rachel so long as she lives on said land but if she moves of sd land then said wench to return to my proper heirs and if sd wench should have any more children during the time that she has he in possession, such child or children shall be taken away at eighteen months old...
... to my daughter Ann a negro boy named Abram... my daughter Elenor a negro boy named Lige...

Slaves of Robert Dowdle, Sr (will dated September 2, 1819,  Anderson, Anderson, South Carolina)
...unto my Beloved wife Mary...My Negro wench Sally to her...together with my Negro fellow Maurice... My Negro wench Betty to be under the care of my said wife during her life and at her Death to be provided for by my Son Samuel and his heirs. It is further my will that at the Death of my said wife, the aforementioned Negro Fellow Maurice be manumitted from Servitude for Life.
...give and bequeath to my Son Samuel, at the death of my wife Mary, the Negro boy, by name Nathan and at the Death of my Son, this Boy to be left to my Son Samuells Son James...Also I give and bequeath to my Son Samuel the Negro Girl Lucy and her Increase to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
I give and bequeath to my Grand Son Robert Barr, son of my Son Samuel, a Negro Boy by name Cato...
I will and bequeath to my Son James, his heirs and assigns, the Negro Fellow by name Tom.
To my Daughter Margaret Pickens a Negro Boy by name Sambo.
Also to my Son John Dowdle a Negro girl by name Susan with her Increase.

Slaves of Eli Wheat (will dated December 13, 1809, Columbia County, Georgia) negro man named Will, one other negro man named Hannibel, also one negro woman named Polley and her Child called Presby and their increase... I will to my Father and Mother, during their natural lives - but when my Father dies my will then is that the negro man Will as above named may go to my Brother Wesley Wheat...

...after the death of my Father and Mother, the negros Hanibel, Polley and Presby and their increase if any may go to my Brother Harvey Wheat...

Slaves of William H Richardson (Inventory December 23, 1864, Greene County, Alabama)


Sale from Isaiah Phillips to Joel Phillips, Sr December 12, 1791 Wilkes, Georgia

12 Dec 1791 Bill of Sale for a negro wench named Bett, about 21 years old, and a child named Rose, 3 years old. From Isaiah Phillips to Joel Phillips, Senr, for £75. Proved by William Ramey who saw Isaiah Phillips, son of Joel Phillips, sign bill of sale. Recorded 16 Apr 1792 in Wilkes Co Deed Book GG, Page 456

If you have any additional information on anyone listed here, I will be happy to add it.