Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Thursday, March 4, 2021


I really need to go to an LDS Family History Center. We have one in my little 'Ville that is only about 1 mile away. Due to COVID-19, it's closed. That's really sad because I need to look at some German Lutheran Church records that are not on Ancestry. 

Last weekend was RootsTech 2021. I was able to snag a couple of Research strategy sessions to help with two of my brick walls. The first was Nathaniel Davidson, my g-g-g grandfather who was born in Kentucky in 1797. I have two records that tell me his year (approximate) of birth. The first is the 1850 census, in which he states he is 53 years old. The second is his marriage record (1828) that says he is 31. Finding two records that old that agree is amazing. I've been looking at land records and wills and probates in Howard County, Missouri where Nathaniel lived probably until 1833-ish. That's when he sold off his property there and moved to Lafayette County, Missouri with his wife, Ann Estes. She was from Lafayette County. In 1850, they are living near her mother. Nathaniel died intestate. He had one daughter who was a minor, so she is mentioned in probate records. He had three other daughters, Mary, Eliza and Susan (my ancestor), and a son, John. 

In 1830, in Howard County, Missouri, Nathaniel has an older couple living with them. A male between the ages of 70-79 and a woman between 60-69. I think those could be his father and mother. We think his father was still alive in 1833, due to a family letter. So I am no really any further ahead. Missouri records are bad enough, the time period is awful and I can't find enough information in local newspapers.

The other family is on my mom's side, the Kleesaat's. Or maybe Kleesaat, Klesat, Clesotte, Clesot, Glissant and a new one - Klewsaat. I was able to find some stuff on ancestry relating to my ancestor Christian Heinrich Ludwig Kleesaat's sister, Catarina Johanna Friederike Kleesaat. She was born in 1816 - two years younger than Christian. She married a first cousin, Jurgen Friederich Carl Klewsaat. They had 9, maybe 10 children. I think somewhere along the line when they were flipping her name around in the church records it ended up being Friederike Johanna Catarina. Then I found Jurgen and Friederika Johanna Christina. Jurgen died in 1867 and in 1867, Friederika appears with a couple of their children in the Mecklenburg-Schwerin census. But I really need to get into the Family History Center to look at the records in the surrounding towns to see if I can find a marriage record and baptismal records for my direct line. They have the records.  This is what I get, and I have to access at a Family History Center.

I'm waiting.

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, February 8, 2021

On Getting More Information Than You Think You Want to Know.

I'm working on one of my dad's sidelines, the Webb family. To be truthful, his grandmother was a Webb, and the great aunt of one of the people I'm currently fixated on. 

It started with a to do list item of finding an obituary for Alva C. Null, Sr. He died in Missouri in 1965, and I went looking for an obituary on him. Found a very nice one that gave the married name of his only daughter, Dixie Lee Dalton, who at the time of his death was living in Amarillo, Texas. No husband's name. Hmm.

Back to Ancestry, and searching for Dixie Lee Null, I find a marriage announcement for her, but not to a Dalton. Instead to William Anderson. I had to look twice because in 1940, when this even took place, Dixie was 15. The article was in an Odessa, Lafayette county, Missouri newspaper. Dixie lived in Clinton, Henry County, Missouri. So it looks like an elopement, but the notice of her marriage license was in the Clinton newspaper. Went looking again and found a marriage license and certificate in Jackson county, Missouri in 1943, under the name of Dixie Lee Anderson to Lloyd George Baugh. Okay, so now it looks like she was married three times - let's not forget Mr. Dalton. 

Now I was on a roll. I searched for a marriage for Dixie Baugh to someone named Dalton. Found in the Kansas City Times, a marriage license issued in Wyandotte county, Kansas. It's bad enough I'm searching three Missouri counties, now a Kansas county. No marriage record, but she did indeed marry Clifford W. Dalton, sometime probably in 1945 since the license was issued July 10, maybe in Kansas. Here she is in 1945 at age 20 (paper says 22) on her third husband. 

I found various articles about Dixie and Clifford for a few years, and then found his obituary in 1976 in Springfield, Greene county, Missouri. Then nothing. 

Dixie was born in 1925. I figured somewhere along the line she either married again or passed. Take a guess? 

I found husband number 4 in her obituary. Finding her obituary required me to search the funeral homes in the area for someone with a first name of Dixie.  I found her in the online obituaries of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Homes in Springfield. Indeed, she had married again, this time to Rev. Hugho Lewis, 22 years her junior. I don't have a marriage date for her and Hugho, but they were married in 1986 in time to host a 50th wedding anniversary for family - possibly his family since the names are not familiar. 

After finding all this information, I thought it was time to look for divorce notices. While I never located in the newspapers a "divorce granted notice," I did find her filing for two divorces, the first and second husbands.  And then a newspaper article about husband number two considering suicide, writing a note, taking a cab to the Kaw River, and then reconsidering. 

As I enter all this information into my database, I think of how hard I've worked for it, and yet, how easy it was to find all this information. Years ago, I would have had to write to the newspaper, the county, the state to find what I wanted. Instead, with my internet connection and some subscriptions to online databases I was able to find all this out in a matter of days. 

And in all my years of research, I've never seen anyone marry her husbands in alphabetical order!

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 25, 2021

Feeling Productive and yet, NOT!

Yesterday I set out to clear my desk. Well, not clear it exactly, but to start doing genealogical database entry to clear the stack of items needing linking, transcribing and disposing on the right side of my desk. 

The first thing I came upon was a to do list I had printed as a comparison for something else. I scrolled through it, eliminated a couple of things, found a couple of things and then came to one where it suggested I look for a naturalization in Ohio. 

It opened a Pandora's box. I had her husband, and a marriage record, but did not have any of her children, as I hadn't hunted for the census. I still haven't hunted for the census, but did manage to find her naturalization record, her birth date and place of birth and a death notice in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. 

I am sure I've blogged about the Cleveland Necrology Files. They've been very helpful over the years when Cleveland is my focus. They can be found here. Well, there were two entries for Malvina Friedman and one Malvine Friedman. All three were different people, and it led me to the correct Malvina Friedman, nee Ecker, and a lousy looking death notice in the Plain Dealer on Genealogy Bank. When my brain kicked in, I decided to look for a Cleveland area Jewish Newspaper. Turns out there were at least two, The Cleveland Jewish News and The Jewish Independent. I ended up using the index for the Cleveland Public Library Necrology file to search the newspapers and Was much happier with the obituaries I found. 

Then I turned the focus to her husband, Lajos (Louis) Friedman. I found his obituary, his age in 1980 at his death, and that eventually led to the discovery of his arrival record at Ellis Island, his naturalization records and the picture of the ship he came in on. 

One son predeceased Malvina, and I found him, too! Then I went looking for her siblings in the Jewish Newspapers and had some luck there. All this inspired me to take a look at the mysterious Dezso/Dezo/Dave Ecker (not to be confused with David Ecker, hubby's paternal grandfather.) I found him in California after a newspaper article indicated he and his wife were heading to California. His wife died there and he ended up marrying a cousin out there - a cousin who was a brother of her first husband. Incidentally, this woman was an Ecker and married two Ecker's.  

My research was pretty successful. However, it just added to the data entry I have to do. I better get after it.

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes