2020: a Look Ahead

Happy New Year!  2020 is here, and I’d like to use this post to jot down a few of my genealogy plans for this year (although in general I tend to steer away from resolutions and rigid adherence to goals).   

First — yay! — I am going to SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) for the first time.  It’s in January, and I will be taking a week of courses focusing on land records and deeds.  I’m psyched — and I hope also to spend some time at Family History Library, which I last visited in 1994.

The next item on my list for 2020 is participating in a National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) / Mastering Genealogical Proof (MGP) Study Group that will meet once monthly on Tuesday evenings, led by Cari Taplin, CG, of Genealogy Pants.  The Tuesday evening group is full, but there is still availability in one of the other slots.  Click here for more info.

I’m also considering attending Jill Morelli’s Certification Discussion Group.  I had signed up for it last year, but then got a new job, so cancelled. 

My research focus will continue to my Copple / Wright (and related) lines in southern Indiana, and western North Carolina.

Finally, I’m hoping to write at least 50 posts to this blog in the coming year, completing two “A through Z” series.

With all that said, here’s the itemization from the beginning of 2019, and what I did (or did not) do.  Life zig-zags, and you just keep up as best you can.

Here’s a look back at my genealogy goals for 2019, made when I had just completed the BU genealogy course, and was still between bill-paying jobs.

Education and DevelopmentCommentsWhat were my Results?
IGHR (Athens, GA)week of July 21, 2019Signed up, then had to withdraw.  Signed up for SLIG 2020
Texas Institute of Genealogical Research 2019week of June 9, 2019Skipped this entirely; too busy at my bill-paying job.
Legacy Tree webinarsfocus on BCG-sponsoredAm a subscriber to FamilyTreeWebinars; watch these regularly.
Community and Colleagues  
join Assn of Professional Genealogists Renewed, but not actively involved in chapters, etc.
renew Indiana Genealogical Society membership Renewed, but not actively involved in chapters, etc.
renew NGS membershipdone — 2 year renewalcurrent through Nov 2020
join Texas State Genealogical Society Joined, but not active
start attending DGS meetings and get more involved in DGSattend meetings regularly in 2019Am currently the E-Newsletter Editor, and am a life member, but don’t attend meetings regularly.
DNA SIG meetings Have attended DNA SIG meetings occasionally but I generally use Facebook groups and Blaine Bettinger’s DNA-Central as my “SIG”
Writing (high-level)  
Evaluate: what do I know and how do I know it?for key (aka “brick wall”) ancestorsin process
Formulate a research question and a research plan for each of the “brick wall” ancestors (above) in process
Write up GPS proof summaries (or narratives) for each research question I’ve asked (and think I’ve answered) re: my ancestors’ lives on hold
DNA   
Continue mapping my chromosomesmy favorite thing!ongoing
Copple (family line) project on hold
Ask other cousins if they will consider testing  
Long-Range  
submit my lineage to Sonoma County Genealogical Society for a certificate (if approved)by the end of 2019maybe next year — not a priority right now
submit an article to NGSQthis is at least a year away 
get my CG designation — or my AG designationthis is at least a year away 
apply to and complete Pro Gen study coursetypically a 6 month wait list, after you apply.  Offered 3 x a yearOn the waiting list since February 2.

Happy New Year to you and yours!  

 

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.

Copples in the News – Flora’s Roses

 

Flora (Young) Copple (1869 – 1954), the wife of Claude Eugene Copple  — likely my 3rd cousin 4 times removed — of Hood River, Oregon, was apparently fond of roses.  I clipped this article thinking that her rose bushes must have been a sight to see.  But it turns out that, rather than having a green thumbs, she was in fact, skilled in paper artistry!  (Check out the third paragraph!)

The_Hood_River_Glacier_Thu__May_8__1919_

 

“Mrs. Copple’s Roses Attract Visitors,” The Hood River Glacier (Hood River, Oregon), 8 May 1919, pg 1, col 2; Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 3 December 2019)

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.

 

Have You Seen This? (News related to Genealogy)

I just came across these genealogy-related news items this weekend and thought I would share.

DNA Testing — an abandoned baby found 55 years later?
I’ve been intermittently following the story of Paul Fronczak, the baby who was abducted from a Chicago hospital in 1964.  An abandoned toddler was found 2 years later, was declared to be Paul, and then raised by Paul’s parents.  “Paul” did a DNA test in 2013 only to discover he was not biologically related to the parents of the baby originally abducted.  The Fronczak story is again in the news: it’s possible that the biological son of the Fronczaks has been found — again due to DNA testing.  More here , here, and here.

Dallas City (Pauper’s) Cemetery
In the 22 December 2019 paper edition [1] of the Dallas Morning News (and online, dated 20 December [2]) is an article about Dan Babb (a software programmer by trade and genealogist by hobby) who is working to identify the 2,000 + graves of persons (including infants and children) buried here from 1933 to 1978.  Part of the site is regularly flooded during heavy rains.  Babb is posting memorials for this cemetery to FindAGrave.

 

 

[1] “A Mission to return this to place of rest,” The Dallas Morning News, (Dallas, Tex.), 22 Dec 2019, Metro section, p. 1B, col 4.

[2] Robert Wilonsky, “No one cared about them,” commentary, 20 Dec 2019, The Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Tex.); (https://www.dallasnews.com/news/commentary/2019/12/20/no-one-cared-about-them-in-life-or-death-why-one-man-fights-to-restore-dallas-old-paupers-cemetery/ : accessed 22 Dec 2019).

Copples in the News – B.F. Copple and the copper mine

This particular article, about B.F. Copple and the copper mine district near his home in Mesa, Arizona, is about either my third great-granddad, Benjamin Franklin Copple (c 1829 – 1911) or his son Benjamin Franklin Copple (1877 – 1948).  The latter was my great-great grandmother Libby’s half brother.   I suspect it was the younger of the two men, as this article was published in 1903, when the senior Ben Copple would have been 74 years old.

From what I can determine, copper mining was big in Bisbee, Arizona (southeast of Tucson, near the border with Mexico) at the turn of the 20th century, and is still an important industry in the state today.  Thus, this article was published in the Bisbee paper.  However, the Dixie Mining District appears to relate to mines in the Maricopa County area, roughly 15 miles from Mesa.  (See these links: http://docs.azgs.az.gov/OnlineAccessMineFiles/C-F/DixieMaricopaT4NR5ESec25.pdf and https://thediggings.com/mines/2880 )

Bisbee_Daily_Review_Tue__Nov_17__1903_

 

“Two Chances,” Bisbee Daily Review (Bisbee, Arizona), 17 Nov 1903, pg 6, col 2;
Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 3 December 2019)

 

 

Copples in the News – James Lowry Copple dies

This is a follow-up post to a previous post about James Lowry Copple of Iowa and Illinois (which you can read here.)  He had married Mary Harmsen in 1923, and there was no mention of it being a second marriage.

In this obituary, however, mention is made of his first wife Alice (Applen) Copple, who bore him a son who died in infancy.   The obituary is in sync with the 1910 census which indicates James and Alice were married circa 1906, and that a child was born, but was no longer living.

James died in 1939, and was survived by wife Mary (Harmsen) Copple.

JamesLowryCopple_obit

 

“Funeral Services for James Copple Held in Illinois,” Iowa City Press-Citizen (Iowa City, Iowa), 6 Apr 1939, pg 9, col 4; Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 28 October 2019)

Copples in the News – James Copple wed Mary Harmsen

This marriage was between James Lowry Copple, whom I believe to be my 3rd cousin 5 times removed, and his second wife Mary Harmsen in 1923 in Iowa City, Iowa.

Harmsen_Copple 1923 Nuptials

James Lowry Copple was the son of Albert and Isabella (London) Copple.  He was one of 5 known children of theirs.  He was born in 1870 in Indiana and thus was hardly “young” by 1923, although his bride (second wife) was 17 years younger.

James worked as a farmer, and married his first wife around 1906.  They had one son, who died as an infant, before 1910.  After his first wife died in 1920, James remarried in 1923 to Mary Harmsen, whose father, Garrett, was born in Holland.

JamesLowryCopple_FamilyTree

 

“Copple-Harmsen,” Iowa City Press-Citizen (Iowa City, Iowa), 25 Aug 1923, pg 17, col 3;
Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 20 September 2019).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copples in the News — Estate of Sam Copple (1824 – 1852)

This newspaper clipping appears to be about the estate of the late Samuel Copple (c 1824 – c 1852) of Marion County, Illinois.  Samuel was one of at least 11 children born to David [Allen] Copple & Lavina Huckleberry who resided in Marion County, IL late in their lives.  David was likely the son of Jacob [Peter] Copple and [Mary] Elizabeth Garren (or Pfouts), and thus would have been a brother to my own ancestor Philip (c 1784 – 1850).

Samuel was born in Washington County, Indiana circa 1824.  Washington County, Indiana was the original destination for my Copple and Wright families; they arrived in the area circa 1809, purchasing land there before moving from Wayne County, Kentucky (their first stop after leaving the Rowan County, North Carolina area). 

Judging from the 1830 and 1840 census records, and the land patent images available at BLM’s online site, it appears the Copple family moved to Illinois when Samuel was about 15 years old, stopping in the Jefferson/Marion County area. (Both counties are adjacent to each other, Marion having been created from part of Jefferson in 1823.) [1]

Sam married Maria Railey in January 1847; they had 2 daughters: Ellen and Sarah.  Sam died at about the age of 28, and his widow married Abner Faulkner within a fairly short time.

Eli Copple is listed as the Administrator of Sam’s estate; Sam had an older brother Eli, who also lived in Marion County, Illinois.

Samuel Copple Estate Administered

“Administrator’s Notice,” Salem Weekly Advocate (Salem, Illinois), 25 Mar 1852, pg 3, col 7; Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 20 September 2019).

[1] “Marion County, Illinois,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Marion_County,_Illinois : accessed 24 October 2019).

 

Copples in the News — Thelma Irene gets married

Thelma Irene (Copple) Selsor (1910 – 1995) was born either in Missouri, or in West Frankfort, Illinois, to Gaither Calvin Copple (1878 – 1947) and Eva (Martin) Copple (b. 1888).  She was born 18 April, a few days after the official 1910 census date, but a few days before her neighborhood was enumerated.  A child named “Myrtle” was listed as aged 1/12 (presumably 1 month old) in the household. [1] Could that be Thelma?

As indicated in the article, Thelma Irene married Lawrence Marion Selsor  (1911-1972) in Jonesboro on July 24, 1942.   Thelma worked at the (local?) air base, while Lawrence was with the Works Project Administration.  They took a honeymoon to Memphis, Tennessee. 

A quick search for Thelma Selsor on Ancestry’s page for U.S. city directories (1822 – 1995)  seems to indicate that the Selsors made their home in Jonesboro, Arkansas, after they married.

I did not do enough research on Thelma to determine if she had children.  However, it appears her paternal grandparents were Levi and Malinda (Dobbs) Copple and her great-grandparents were William and Abigail (Handley) Copple.  William’s parents were both Copples, being cousins to each other, and Thelma was likely my 4th cousin 3 times removed.

Thelma Irene Gets Married

“Selsor-Copple Rites are Performed Here,” The Courier News (Blytheville, Arkansas), 31 Jul 1942, page 2, column 1; Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 22 September 2019)

[1] 1910 U.S. census, New Madrid County, Missouri,  population schedule, Enumeration District (ED) 108, Hough, page 2B, family 43, Gaither [indexed as Garther] Copple household; digital images, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/ 1910uscenindex/: accessed 18 Oct 2019); citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm publication T624, roll 802.