31 July 2010

Not So Fast!: The Newspaper Record of the Death and Burials of Norman J. Dutton (1810-1889)

Norman Dutton was the step-father of my great-great-grandmother Louisa Dutton (1833-1913), and was an early settler of Metamora, Woodford County in Illinois.  So we go to the Metamora Herald newspaper seeking his obituary and here is what we find in the March 22nd, 1889 issue --
Word has been received by Mrs. Theodore Barton that her uncle Norman Dutton, formerly a citizen and early settler of this locality, had died at his home near Great Bend, Kansas last Monday.
Well there I go!  The attention of my research, including to find his gravesite, switches to Kansas, right?  Not-so-fast!  Research provides us with a second entry.  In the October 4th, 1889 issue of the same publication we find --
The remains of Norman Dutton were brought here yesterday, from Great Bend, Kansas, for burial.  Mr. Dutton died last March and was buried in Kansas, and has now been removed to Oakwood Cemetery for final rest.
Usually the researcher hopes for a long obituary loaded with information.  Here we have a small entry, but it gives me a wealth of clues!  We now know where he is buried, is this a clue where to find his wife, especially since they went to the trouble of moving his remains here?  Louisa got remarried to her fourth husband, one James Easterling while in Kansas, which confused me.  Additionally, her son, my great-grandfather Henry M. Walker (1864-1952) married my great grandmother Lucy M. Chesley (1866-1940) while in Kansas.  Now this all makes sense -- the family, three generations, moved there together.  One final "long shot" to look into -- Great Bend, Kansas is in "Barton County."  The Bartons of Illinois were closely tied to the Duttons, including multiple intermarriages.

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

28 July 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My Two Sons

Whom I love more than life itself.

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

27 July 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Norman (1921-1922) and Kenneth (1923-1923) Walker -- Baby Uncles

When I was growing up it kind of creeped me out to hear my father talk about his brothers Norman and Kenneth who died as infants, long before he was ever born.  But they were his brothers, and they should not be begrudged that fact, just as they are my uncles.  Doing genealogy, researching my family tree has been therapeutic for me.  I have increased my understanding, and thereby my emotions have evolved.

My Dad says he did not even know about these two brothers until his early-teens, and they were really only ever spoken about at funerals.  The marker is in the Dix Cemetery, Dix, Nebraska.  Norman was nine months old when he died, and Kenneth died the same day he was born.  My Dad no longer remembers how they passed.  Will I ever learn?  Possibly.  But since I am just starting my serious research, the focus is on direct ancestors first.

Thanks to user custer1963 on FindaGrave.com for taking the picture for me.

 Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

23 July 2010

Obit: Betty Jo Strasheim, 1924 - 2002

The following obituary is transcribed from the March 15, 2002 edition of the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle --
Betty Jo Strasheim


Betty Jo Strasheim, 77, of Cheyenne died March 12 at 3128 Boxelder Dr. in Cheyenne.  She was born Sept. 30, 1924, in Dix, Neb., and had lived here for 54 years with prior residence in Kimball.  Mrs. Strasheim had retired after 15 years as the secretary at Trinity Lutheran Church.  She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Mrs. Strasheim is survived by her husband, (LIVING) of Cheyenne; a son, (LIVING) of Cheyenne; two daughters, (LIVING) of Jackson and (LIVING) of Cheyenne; two brothers, (LIVING) of San Lorenzo, Calif., and (LIVING) of Yorba Linda, Calif.; a sister, (LIVING) of Omaha, Neb.; and five grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Keith and Mattie Walker; two brothers, Ralph K. Walker and Norman Walker; a half-brother, Arthur Walker; and two half-sisters, Beula Mae Wistrom and Jenifer Cosgrif.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Trinity Lutheran Church with the Rev. David Caspersen officiating.  Interment will be in Cheyenne Memorial Gardens.

Friends may contribute to Trinity Lutheran Church or the Alzheimer's Association.
Note: It is "Beulah Lee Wistrom" not "Beula Mae."

Note: The obituary informant forgot Dorothy Grace Nitzsche, who was Betty's half-sister, and died in 1948 decades before any of the other siblings.

Note: It might seem silly for me to replace the names of the living in a published obituary, when that information is readily available from the newspaper itself.  But I am endeavoring to protect the privacy of my living relatives on this blog, and if someone wants that information bad enough they can work to get it.

 Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

19 July 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Prison Record of Henry Martin Walker, Jr. (1864-1952)

From the Nebraska State Historical Society, this is the NE Dept. of Correctional Services Descriptive Record to Inmates entry for Henry Walker as I could best transcribe.  The writing was done by hand in ink, very small, and in cursive (paranthetical remarks are mine and not a part of the original) --

Name: Henry Walker
No.: 3033
Received: Dec 16, 1896
County: Custer
Crime: Shooting to Wound
Sentence: 5 years
Age: 32
Occupation: Farmer Lhd. (Left-handed)
Height: 5' 7 5/8"
Complexion: Light
Hair: Light-brown
Eyes: Blue
Where Born: Ills.
Religion: Methodist
Servitude: None
Politics: Republican
Tobacco: None
Habits: Temperate (choice of "temperate," "moderate," or "intemperate")
Wife: Lucy A. Walker, Callaway, Neb. (Lucy's real middle initial is "M")
Father: Dead
Mother: L.L. Easterling, Lake, Okl.
Brother: Samuel C. Walker, Anchor, Ills
Sister: Letta N. Clark, Ferris, Ills (actually is Letta A. Clarke)
Friend: G.L. Miller, Gordon Cy, Ne
        Robert ?????., Milldale, Neb
Education: R+W (Can read and write)
Guilty or Not: Guilty
Term When Convicted: Nov 96
Time Expires: Dec 12, 1901   Write Wife (notation)
Good Time: Sept 12, 1900     Write Wife (notation)
When Discharged: Sept 12, 1900
Description: Weight 143 1/2, foot 10 1/2, men's 8
             Scar on left shin
             Vacc. mark on right arm
             Lower right tooth out
Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

09 July 2010

What I Do

Thomas MacEntee over at Geneabloggers.Com has suggested that all the geneabloggers post what technology they use to do their blogging and genealogical work. --

* Hardware: The last computer system I ever bought was a HP 286, back circa 1990.  Since then I have built my own.  The heart of my system is a homebrew AMD Phenom Quad-Core 2.41 GHz system built on an ASUS motherboard, with 8gigs memory, dual widescreen monitors, numerous hard drives and disk drives, networked with a cable modem and Linksys router to three laptops, one for each -- myself, my wife, and my son.

* External storage: Three external hard drives -- 1TB Seagate for backup, 500GB for storage, 350GB for music files.

* Backup: Acronis TrueImage Home

* Firewall: ZoneAlarm

* Virus protection: Multiple

* Spyware: Multiple

* Printer: Canon Pixma MP610 All-in-One (I have had a lot of printers over the years, this is the BEST!)

* Phone: Motorola RAZR2 v9

* Music player:  Sony 16gb Walkman

* Browser: Firefox

* Blog: Blogger (duh)

* Text editor: MS Word, but I am not above using NotePad

* Graphics: Corel's PaintShop Photo Pro x3 (leaves all others in the dust)

* Screen capture: PrtSc and Paste (old school)

* Social media: Facebook and Twitter (both I rarely use)

* Office suite: MS Office 2007

* E-mail: MS Outlook, Gmail

* Genealogy database: Legacy 7.4 (is my core), Family Tree Maker 2010 (for interacting with Ancestry.Com)

* Genealogy tools: GenSmarts, GenMerge

* Other tech stuff: Canon LIDE200 Mobile Flatbed Scanner (powered by USB, invaluable for research trips)

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

05 July 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Happy Belated Independence Day

I love Independence Day holiday!  No greater proof is needed that how busy I was yesterday.  I never got around to posting on my blog what I wanted to; I never got around to calling my parents to wish them a happy holiday, and I didn't get to do any of my "fun work" like research.  My son and daughter-in-law flew in from the east coast to spend the weekend with us, and it has been fabulous!  What a fine couple they have matured into.

My wife decorated our house inside and out with a patriotic theme.  We had a large meal with my barbecued smoked spareribs at the center.  We spent much of the day sitting outside drinking and talking, shaded from the mid-day heat by awnings.  We watched the 1972 musical 1776 on TCM, which was once an annual family tradition.  The city fireworks were on Saturday night, so we spent the evening playing card games indoors.  It was a great time.

So today I offer the entry for my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather John Needham who served in the Revolutionary War, taken from the published family history The Ancestors and Descendants of Horatio Edmund Needham and Lucina Bagley, Who Married 25 November 1852 in Royalton, Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Wise, 1995) by Melva Kinch Breffeilh and Shirley Kinch Morrison. --
John Needham was born in Salem on 22 Jan 1736, the son of Daniel and Isabella (Armstrong) Needham.  Some time around 1755, his father moved the family to Norwich, Ct. and on 11 Aug 1763, John married in East Haddam, Ct. Esther Willey, daughter of Noah and Sarah (Hart) Willey. . . .John served in the Revolutionary War aboard the ship General Putnam, in the expedition against the British at Penobscot (Maine) in 1779.  Serving with him were his son John, his brother Elias, and several of his Connecticut Valley neighbors.  The General Putnam was commissioned April 23, 1778.  Her master, Capt. Allen, posted these notices: "Gentleman Volunteers who are inclined for a cruise are desired to apply on board, or at Nathan Douglas's Tavern."  Following the war, the family moved to Washington County, New York, and John Needham, Sr. probably died there between 1790 and 1800 (Censuses).  In the 1800 census. Esther is listed as the "head of household" and probably died soon afterwards.  Both Esther and John Needham, Sr. were probably buried in or near Granville, N.Y. but no record  of their graves can be found.
Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker