Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Most Difficult Wall: Part 2

So in the previous post I layed out what little information I had to start with with Joseph Hobby who married Aretta Burr. Whenever I would get frustrated with not being able to break down this brick wall I would give up for the time being and go work on another family line to work on for awhile. One day I decided to work at the brick wall from a different angle. I knew most likely Joesph was born in Connecticut and I went on the assumption he most likely was around the same age as Aretta. I reviewed the entries on Find-A-Grave for Ohio and someone had posted an entry in the Ninevah Cemetery  in Greenwich, Huron County for a Joesph Hobby and they even posted a picture of the gravestone. This entry seems to fit my Joseph but the gravestone is hard to read. It appears to say the following:

Joseph Hobby
Mar 27 1850
35 Years

So if I am correct, this is likely to be my Joseph who married Aretta. This does fit with my previous theories but it still isn't solid evidence. I still didn't have any further information about Joseph's parents so I decided one day that I was going to start with the records that came from Connecticut.  I started with the The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Vol. 1-55  that was edited by Lorraine Cook White and available on Ancestry. Unfortunately, this collection just made me more frustrated because the records were not detailed and covered several years of birth, death, and marriage records. So I gave up for a time and worked on other lines. Google searches with the Hobby name are quite unfruitful as it is a common word but I decided to filter down to just Google books. I got lots of hits for Captain Joseph Hobby and Captain Thomas Hobby. Most of the references were with regards to military service in the revolutionary war and these men would be unlikely candidates for Joseph's father but could possibly be his grandfather. I realized it is was time to brush up on my history so I did. One historical event that was of particular interest was the Tryon's raid on the colonies of Connecticut in 1779. Most of the towns on the Connecticut coast were burned during the raid. After the war people in this area received a war bounty of land from the Connecticut Reserve which consisted of land that is now modern Ohio. This was a huge clue for me and made me realize why the migration of family took place. I am getting closer to solving this brick wall but not there yet! If one thing I have learned it that you must look at everything and leave no stone unturned. Still more to come. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I think I have to thank my grandmother, Edna Klarman DeKay, for giving me the genealogy bug. She contacted several close relatives and distant cousins for information on the family. She spent several years compiling family stories and other interesting tidbits about the Klarman family. I do miss her so much now!

Edna May Klarman abt 1929

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mobile Monday

This post has been milling around in my head for a awhile now. The mobile applications available that are related to genealogy are being released just about every day it seems. I have tried a few and have a few more on my radar to try.

Resting Spot - This was the first one I tried and I love it. It allows you to record the GPS coordinates of a grave. You can add photos and birth and death dates from the app which is available on Android and Apple app stores. The app is a free download. At this time there isn't too many entries recorded into the site's database but I am sure it will improve as more people download the app. It is a bit time consuming to record each entry and you can't add notes via the app. You can record notes and other information about the person via the website.

Billion Graves - This app is very similar to Resting spot but takes a much different approach. It is designed to quickly record pictures of the gravestones in a given cemetery. Once you are done you can upload the photos when you get home. Then from the website members can transcribe the gravestones images. They have been actively recruiting new members by offering prizes and allowing members to join teams to encourage more people to use the app and do the transcribing work. People who do the transcribing do not need to have the mobile app. The app is free but does have  an in app purchase option for the ability to search entries. It also is available on Android and Apple app stores. I used this one once and it is very easy to use. I have few things I do not like about the app. The photos recorded with the app are not my photo roll on the phone and search feature doesn't show the town and state of the cemetery in the search results and when you click through it takes you directly to where the entry is on the map. So I end up zooming out to try and figure out where the cemetery is. I sure this will improve in time. I have already found from entries in the database that are interesting to me so the database is constantly changing.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Most Difficult Brick Wall: Part 1

This brick wall is from my research on my dad's paternal side of the family. The family has been heavily researched to about 1850 but any further history get very sketchy. The first and only record I have of my 3 great grandfather is a marriage record in the Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958 database on FamilySearch.org. The record states he married Aretta Burr and the marriage took place on 28 Jan 1839 in Huron county Ohio. Aretta and her five children can be found in the 1850 census in Greenwich, Huron, Ohio. Aretta's mother Nancy Beardsley and Aretta's step father Nathan Bouton are also living with her. It appears that Joseph died before the 1850 census. By the time of the 1860 census Aretta is still living in Huron County, Ohio and is remarried to a man name John Beckman and they have a blended family of children from his previous marriage and her children she had with Joseph as well as children of their own. Interestingly, in the census record Aretta is listed with her husband and the Beckman children in one household and living next door are her Hobby children with Nancy being head of household. By the time of the 1870 census Aretta is living in Oceana county Michigan and many of her children are living here as well. Aretta died on 16 June 1908 at age of 87 years old. Her death certificate is available on the Seeking Michigan site and reveals her mother and father's information. With this information I was able to locate the family the book, A General History of The Burr Family by Charles Burr Todd. This book is excellent resource and I have been able to take the research way back on the Burr side. But Joseph still remains very much a mystery. I have yet to discover who his parents are and go back further. I tried all the free online resources and techniques that I found useful for finding other people such as Google Books, Find-A-Grave, and Family Search but to no avail. When I started this research I had my great uncle's research to start with and I started locating census records for Aretta and her children. The biggest clue I had at this time was in later census records of the Joseph and Arretta's children that the father's birth place was consistently Connecticut. With this information I searched Find-A-Grave and found many entries for Connecticut especially in Fairfield County, Connecticut. So my first questions were:

  • Why did Joesph migrate from Connecticut to Huron County, Ohio?
  • Did his father and mother also migrate?
  • Was Aretta related to the famous Aaron Burr? (This was primary my dad's question because he had always heard that from other family members)
I think I  have been able to answer some of these questions but I now have more questions that are left unanswered. So my hope is by my documenting my finds and questions I will break down this brick wall! More to come.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Finds

When Apple announced the new app for iTunesU I had to check it out. I found an awesome open course from Yale University called The American Revolution (iTunesU link).  You can also check the course out on YouTube. Professor Freeman does a great job discussing about how people felt and what they did in the time before and during the American Revolution. I am currently trying to break down a brick wall and this has been very helpful.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paid Online Genealogy Tools

So many tools ... so little time! Which to choose? That is the question of me now. I have been using Ancestry for little over a year now and it is time to widen out in my research to some of the other subscription sites. Here are a few on my list to consider.

Ancestry - Love the site. It has helped me greatly

Billion Graves - smartphone app for collecting and marking gravestones quickly with GPS coordinates. I do love this app and love the potential it represents. The app is free but costs to enable the search function from your phone.

Fold3 - This one is top on list for consideration. I love the search function on Fold3 and really wish Ancestry would incorporate its search function into the Ancestry site. For records and since I am smack in the middle of researching the revolutionary war this site seems to be the best match of what I am researching right now.

Connecticut Society of Genealogists - My research is focused on this state right now so this seems a good choice and is inexpensive.

Western Reserve Historical Society - Just found this one and it looks interesting