F is for Future Research Plans: Blalock/Blaylock

Margaret [J?] (Blalock) Copple (b. ca 1810 in Kentucky – d. 1892 in Newton County, Missouri) was one of my 4th-great grandmothers, and is a “dead end” ancestor.  I do not know her parents, but I do have some leads.  I really need to make finding her parents one of my future research goals – and the “future” is arriving now, in 2020.

What do I know about her right now?  And what leads do I have?

The Basics, Documented (in my Ancestry tree)

  • Born in Kentucky (per her responses on census records) – where exactly I don’t know.
  • Was in Washington County, Indiana by December 1827, when she married Jacob Copple on 6 December
  • Not (yet) found in the 1830 census. Presumably in Indiana.
  • Was in Vigo County, Indiana at the 1840 census
  • Was in Newton County, Missouri at the 1850 census
  • Was in Newton County, Missouri at the 1860 census
  • Not found in 1870 census for either Newton or Jasper counties
  • In Newton County, Missouri in 1871, as administrator of her late husband’s estate
  • Reportedly died in 1892 in Newton (or Jasper) County, Missouri
  • Is buried in Jasper County, Missouri

Other Clues

  • Two men, a Jeremiah Blalock and a Thomas Blalock, both old enough to be Margaret’s father, were in Washington County, Indiana in 1830.  They lived next to each other.
  • A Jeremiah Blalock married a Louisa Dosier in 1835 in Vigo County, Indiana — the same county Margaret lived in at the 1840 census.
  • A “Jer [for Jeremiah?] Blalock” lived in Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky in 1810.  A female < 9 years old resided in the household.  Could this be Margaret?  A “Jer Blalock” lived in Rockcastle County, Kentucky in 1820.  In that household was a female 0-9 years, and a female 10-15.  Could the 10-15 year old female be Margaret?
  • A David M Blalock married Lucy Carey in Washington County, Indiana in 1831.  Lucy Carey and David have at least 4 children before Lucy dies ca. 1840.
  • Lucy Carey was the daughter of John Carey and Polly Hungate.
  • David M Blalock married Mary “Polly” Norton in 1841.  They had a daughter Margaret Jane.  All are on the 1850 census.  David was of an age to be a possible brother of Margaret (Blalock) Copple.
  • David apparently died ca. 1853 because Polly (Norton) (Blalock) marries again ca. 1854.
  • Andrew J Blalock, son of David and Lucy and possible nephew of Margaret (Blalock) Copple, lived in a Hungate household in 1860 in Washington County, Indiana.
  • The youngest son of David M Blalock, his namesake, born ca. 1850, was married in 1879 in Jasper County, Missouri.  What brought him south to Missouri?  Could it have been a family connection to a paternal aunt and cousins?

DNA Clues

Through DNA clustering tools, I’ve been able to determine that Mom (and I) have segments on chr 9 and chr 13 which are almost certainly inherited from Margaret (Blalock) Copple rather than her husband Jacob.  There is also a third Blalock segment which shows up in clustering tools

Numerous DNA matches of Mom have Blalock/Blaylock in their trees (where trees exist), but there is no consistency in the names and locations, as there was for my Copple line.

Some DNA matches of Mom have Hungates in their trees, and some of those have Hungates living in Washington County, Indiana at the same time Margaret’s family lived there.

A fairly large number of Mom’s DNA matches which cluster in the “Blalock” cluster have a shared common ancestral couple: Thomas Hemphill and Mary Mackie.  Other matches share a common ancestral couple who are Thomas Hemphill’s parents.  If the ages in the trees are to be believed, these couples would be of an age to be Margaret’s grandparents or great-grandparents.  The DNA link may not be with the Hemphill line at all, but without further investigation on my part, I cannot rule it out.

Next Steps
Research all of the Blalocks living in Washington County as of 1830, including census, marriage, land deeds, court records, etc., in particular both Jeremiah and Thomas Blalock.
Continue to attempt to sub-cluster Mom’s matches by Blalock common ancestor, if there is one, focusing particularly on Blalock connections in southern Indiana, and Kentucky.

 

E is for Emigration (from Schleswig-Holstein)

SS Germania_Norway Heritage

SS Germania (1863) courtesy of Norway Heritage collection.

To the left is a photograph of the SS Germania, the ship Peter Nicholas Holst (my great-great grandfather) sailed on in May 1869 to the USA from Hamburg, Germany.

In the past year or so, I discovered a website listing persons who emigrated from Schleswig-Holstein during the 19th century.  This is a labor of love by a Klaus Struve who lives in Kiel, Germany.

The gist of these abstracted records, from a variety of sources, including Landesarchiv Schleswig, is that Peter Nicholas Holst was the son of Peter (which matches family oral history) and he had two younger brothers, Georg and Johannes (which matches the 1860 Denmark census).  Peter arrived in the U.S. in 1869 on the SS Germania – Hamburg and New York passenger lists confirm this.  Peter was a shoemaker, but also worked as a butcher in his early years in the U.S. in New York

According to the emigration abstracts, Georg (also noted as the son of Peter) stated [1] he would be joining his brother Peter Nicholas; he arrived in New York City in May 1872 [2] on the SS Vandalia.  I have found a possible source for a naturalization record (dated 1894) for Georg – otherwise, exactly nothing.  I do not know what happened to him.  He is not mentioned in Peter’s biography published in An Illustrated History of Sonoma County (pub. 1889).

Georg Holst NYC Passenger List

The youngest son of Peter, named Johannes, received permission to emigrate in 1872 [3].  But he did not sail to the U.S. until May 1873 [4] on the SS Holsatia, where he was going to meet up with his brothers Peter Nicholas and Georg.  As with Georg, I have no idea what happened next for Johannes.

Joh Holst NYC Passenger List

All that said, these abstracts have been fascinating and point to the possibility of other sources within the Schleswig-Holstein archives.  In addition, I may be able to find Johannes and Georg Holst in U.S. newspaper records, New York marriage records, or the 1880 U.S. Federal Census.  They don’t appear to have gone out to Sonoma County with Peter and Caroline, but did Peter and Caroline go out west simply because her brothers were already out there?  Did Peter’s brothers remain in New York / Connecticut?  Could more of Peter’s family (specifically, maternal cousins) have come to the U.S. as well?

More to research, now that I know Peter had brothers and that they actually did arrive in America…

[1]https://www.rootdigger.de/Names/H-file.pdf
[2] Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897, microfilm publication M237, 675 rolls (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 358, 20 May 1872, SS Vandalia, List 455, passenger 526, Georg Holst; digital images, “New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957,” Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7488/ : viewed 27 Dec 2019), image 421.
[3]https://www.rootdigger.de/Names/H-file.pdf
[4] Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897, microfilm publication M237, 675 rolls (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 375, 15 May 1873, SS Holsatia, List 427, passenger 308, Joh. Holst; digital images, “New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957,” Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7488/ : viewed 27 Dec 2019), image 14.

D is for my Danish roots

Sometimes when you put things off, it is all to the good because when you get back to it, circumstances have changed in a positive way.

In this case, more and more Schleswig-Holstein records have come online in recent years — and someone else has done the transcription of the Danish/Low German handwriting!

Thanks to the surge of online documents in the past few years, I’ve been able to extend my Danish great-grandfather’s maternal line and paternal line [Ahnentafel 28/29 on my pedigree].  This great-granddad is my mother’s maternal grandfather, a first-generation American.

Caroline Thomsen Ancestors

My 2nd great grandma Caroline (Thomsen) Holst’s ancestors

Peter Holst Ancestors

My 2nd great grandfather Peter Nicholas Holst’s ancestors

One site I’ve used in recent years is Danish Family Search, wherein volunteers are transcribing the various censuses taken in Denmark.  And the duchy of Slesvig (my ancestral home) was part of Denmark until Bismarck invaded Slesvig in 1864 and, after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the territory was annexed by Prussia. [1]

Members of my own family headed to the United States during the decade or so, with my 3rd great grandparents, Johann Carl Thomsen and Maria Erichsen, both in their late 50’s starting all over leaving their home behind for the hills and valleys of Sonoma County, California.

With respect to https://www.danishfamilysearch.com, I have built out a tree of my Danish line and added census records, where available, to it.  In some cases, the census records were already transcribed by volunteers.  More recently, I’ve been able to find Danish censuses online at FamilySearch.org [2] [3] and MyHeritage.com; those also have been transcribed.  Then I do a search at DanishFamilySearch, and add the applicable census to my family tree there, as well as doing a partial transcription of my own family’s household.

 

Highlighted in yellow above is Carolina Margaretha Thomsen, aged 2, with her mother Maria Erichsen, aged 23, and her father Johann Carl Thomsen, aged 25.

Peter Holst Household 1855

Above is a screen shot of the 1855 Denmark census for Peter Nicolai Holst, aged 8, with his younger Georg, aged 1, his mother Anna Dorothea Johannsen, aged 32, and his father Peter Holst, aged 34.  

It’s certainly much easier to find my ancestral households now than 2 – 3 years ago, which is when I first began using DanishFamilySearch.  If you haven’t been to DanishFamilySearch, I’ll walk you through the site below.  Regions other than Slesvig-Holsten are likely to have more records (e.g. church books) available, simply because they are in the Danish Archives.  For Slesvig-Holsten, you also have to research in German archives.  You would select the county of interest on the main page — it’s a clickable link.

DanishFamilySearch1

The screen below shows my family database entry for Claus Clausen, my 5th great grandfather.  Possible censuses available — not all are complete, nor all applicable for Slesvig-Holsten — are shown in the red boxes.  The green box means I have attached the 1803 census to Claus Clausen’s record.  (Clearly, as always with genealogy, I worked backwards to get to this point.)

ClausClausen1

This screen shot shows all of Claus Clausen’s children as of the 1803 census.  If there were more, I won’t find them on the census, as the next available census is from 1835.  Anna Christina Johannsen is highlighted.  Johannsen is Anna’s married name.

ClausClausen_daughter

For those records which are pre-transcribed, the screen looks like this.  You do a typical search, filtering in what you know of your ancestor including first name, last name, age, county, administrative region and parish.   Below is Claus Clausen’s household in 1803.  They lived in Wees, within the Munkbrarup parish, in Flensbourg, in Slesvig-Holsten.  (Note that at the bottom is a reference to the Danish Archives online where the original record came from.)

ClausClausen_transcribed census

A Google Maps search of Wees, Germany shows the general location.

Wees Germany

Wees Germany 2

Grundhof (3 miles from the sea) and Dollerup, highlighted, are the hometown villages for another ancestral line.

The red pin below denotes Wees.  The black line just to the left represents the Denmark / Germany border.  The bays and fjords near Wees are part of the Baltic Sea. The city of Hamburg, which was the emigration point for my ancestors, is well south of this land area.

Wees Germany 3

A useful link for Danish censuses is:  https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Denmark_Census , which includes links to the transcribed censuses on MyHeritage.com

I have also used Arbeitskreis Volkszahl-Register (http://www.akvz.de/index.html) in the past, but am currently struggling to properly query records which I have screen prints for, so something has changed in the past 2 years.  This group, too, is transcribing census and other records stored in Schleswig-Holstein archives in Germany.

What’s been most fascinating to me is to discover the names of the towns and parishes where my ancestors came from; I suppose the next step is to comb through church records, if available online.

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “History of Schleswig-Holstein,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, rev. 4 Nov 2019;
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Schleswig-Holstein : accessed December 23, 2019).

[2] “Denmark Census, 1845,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLRV-3XYS : 23 Dec 2019), Johann Carl Thomsen in entry for Hans Scholott, Danmark; from “Denmark Census, 1845,” database and images, MyHeritage ( https://www.myheritage.com : 2016), film s00002; citing household 000275750, Rigsarkivet, København (The Danish National Archives), Copenhagen; FHL microfilm.

[3] “Denmark Census, 1855,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLD3-DZWV : 23 Dec 2019), Peter Nicolai Holst, Flensborg, Slesvig, Danmark; from “Denmark Census, 1855,” database and images, MyHeritage ( https://www.myheritage.com : 2016), film s00003; citing household 00000343271, Rigsarkivet, København (The Danish National Archives), Copenhagen; FHL microfilm.

 

C is for County Clare

My great-great grandmother, Hanora Josephine (McDermott) Colbert (c 1854 – 1892) was a native of County Clare, Ireland.  She was the daughter of Cornelius McDermott (c 1827 – 1894) and Catherine (Breen) McDermott (c 1828 – 1909), both natives of County Clare.

So, naturally, when my husband and I visited Ireland in May 2016, we stopped in County Clare.  Hanora, pictured below, was born in the town of Cooraclare, in her parents’ house, called Clonredden.  When Hubby and I reached the town of Cooraclare, I stopped in at the post office, and said I was the 3rd-great granddaughter of Con McDermott, principal of Cooraclare National School.  One of the women there took me around the town, as well as to the local cemetery and to the house (still standing, but in ruined condition) where Hanora was born.

Where is Cooraclare?

Cooraclare_Location_GoogleMap

NoraMcDermott2

Hanora McDermott Colbert

IMAG0809

Clonredden, May 2016

The back of the house is shown to the right.

IMAG0792

The main street of Cooraclare, Co. Clare, Ireland

We also visited the cemetery where Hanora’s parents are buried.   Con’s tombstone is on the left; a general shot of the cemetery itself is on the right.

While in County Clare, we also visited the BurrenBurren is the Anglicized version of the Irish word Boireann meaning “great rock” [1].   It’s a bleak and stony landscape, created from glacial karst [2] and was possibly the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. [3]

 
[1] Wikipedia contributors, “The Burren,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, rev. 23 Oct 2019; (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Burren&oldid=922588482 : accessed 17 Nov, 2019).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Tourism Ireland, “Attractions: Historic Ireland — The Burren and Tolkien,”(https://www.ireland.com/en-us/what-is-available/attractions-built-heritage/historic-ireland/articles/burren-and-tolkien/ : accessed 17 Nov, 2019).

B is for (genealogy) Books

A few of my go-to genealogy books (non-affiliate links):

The Family Tree Problem Solver (Revised 1st Edition), 2011, Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FASG

Evidence Explained: History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 3rd edition (Revised), 2017, Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, FASG, ed.

books-2158737_640

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4th edition , 2017, Val Greenwood

Genetic Genealogy

Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies , 2019, by Debbie Parker Wayne

Genetic Genealogy in Practice, 2016, Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne

Writing it all Up

Mastering Genealogical Documentation , 2017, Thomas W. Jones

Mastering Genealogical Proof, 2013, Thomas W. Jones

Specialty

A Brief History of Everyone who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through our Genes, paperback edition, 2018, Adam Rutherford

Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for pre-1906 San Francisco Research, 2nd edition , 2012, Nancy Simons Peterson

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide, 4th edition , 2012, John Grenham

The Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Family Tree in Italy, 2017, Melanie D. Holtz

What about you?  Any favorites not on this list?  Anyone know of some good German ancestry books?  Or Danish ancestry, for that matter?

A is for Anamnesis

Just what is anamnesis anyway?

Vocabulary.com defines “anamnesis” as “the ability to recall past occurrences” or “memory”.  The Greeks also considered memories from one’s past lives as part of the concept – but I’m playing fast and loose with their concept of “past lives”.

alphabet-2034761_640_A

Image by JLG from
Pixabay

Instead of reincarnation, by “past lives”, I mean those lives in the past — of my own ancestors.

I am “remembering” ancestral lives and ancestral places by writing down what I know of them at this point in time.

To that end, I’ll be blogging a series of posts from A to Z — “Family History from A to Z”, an idea I got from browsing several different blogs. (You can check out those blogs here, here and here)

This particular series will focus largely on locations where different branches of my family resided.