Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Lovell Hugh Pemberton

"Lovell H. Pemberton , Seaman sailed the great lakes April 17, 1878"

This is my great-great-grandfather, Lovell Hugh Pemberton. I got this picture from my cousin, Stacy, who got it from our great-aunt, Barbara (Pemberton) Post. Lovell was Aunt Barb's grandfather. April 17, 1878 or 1879 is supposedly his birthday, according to his death record, his dad's pension file, his obit, and his WWI draft card, and family sources. However, his birth record states 14 Jan 1878. Strange. And I can't seem to find when he sailed the Great Lakes. Possibly before he married in 1902. I can't seem to find him in the 1900 census. Maybe he was off sailing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

RAOGK Musings

I've recently become a volunteer for RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) over at For those of you who don't know, RAOGK is a lookup service for which you can volunteer or from which you can find volunteers who will do one or two lookups for you if you live far away from your ancestal homelands. RAOGK suggests that you only ask for a lookup of one or two names in one or two records per month, considering that these people are volunteers and are not being paid for their time. As a volunteer, however, you can request reimbursement for copy fees, parking, mileage, and postage, and you are only obligated to do one lookup per month. In addition to becoming a volunteer, I also used RAOGK for the first time this month to request a lookup from other volunteers.

I helped Joyce in Texas find the death record of her ancestor, Stella Cuccia, at the Louisiana State Archives where I live in Baton Rouge. I also helped Clarence find three death records for his Jones ancestors at the archives. I tried to find an obituary for Stella in the special collections at Hill Memorial Library at LSU but was unsuccessful.

Joe in Muskegon, Michigan, helped me find the obituary and death record for my third great-grandaunt, Hannah Winters. Hannah's husband, William Thomas Pemberton, was the younger brother of my third great-grandfather, John Pemberton. Hannah died 9 Feb 1925 in Muskegon, Muskegon, Michigan, at age 72y, 10m, 15d. Her age suggests a birth date of 25 Mar 1852, and her birthplace was given as Canada in both the death record and obit. The death record provided the names of her parents, Isaac H. Winters and Mary Crisner, both born in Canada. This was very exciting news, as I did not have the names of her parents or their birthplaces. Below is her obituary and with a transcription.

Mrs. Hannah Jane Pemberton, aged 72 years, died at 11:59 a.m., Monday, at her home, 1??8 Washington avenue, after a lingering illness. She was born in Canada, March 25, 1852. She formerly resided at Sault Ste. Marie for fifteen years, coming from there to Muskegon three years ago. Her husband, William Thomas Pemberton, died about ten years ago.

Mrs. Pemberton is survived by seven sons, Walter S., Martin R., and William T. Pemberton, all of Sault Ste. Marie; Henry I., Leslie, and Albert W. Pemberton, of Muskegon; Brott Pemberton, of South Branch, Mich.; two daughters, Mrs. Irves Johnson, of Muskegon, and Mrs. David Barrus, of Sheldrich, Mich., one sister, Mrs. J.M. Robertson, Algonac, Mich., and a brother, Hiram Winters, of Algonac.

The funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Clock funeral home. Rev. J.R. Estes, pastor of the First Baptist church, will officiate. The body will be taken to South Branch, Mich., for interment.
Here is her transcribed death record from the Muskegon County Clerk's office in Muskegon:

Death Record, Liber 5, Page 116, Record 2775
PEMBERTON, Hannah Jane
Date of Death: 9 February 1925
Place of Death: Muskegon, Michigan
Age: 72 years, 10 months, 15 days
Cause: Carcinoma of the Stomach
Birthplace: Canada
Occupation: Housewife
Father: Isaac H. Winters, birthplace is Canada
Mother: Mary Crisner, birthplace is Canada
Recorded in the Liber on 14 March 1925
Mark in Worthington, Ohio, found the obituary of my 2nd great-grandaunt, Elva M. (Pemberton) Harriman Lerch, at the Ohio Historical Society's archives in Columbus. Elva died 19 Feb 1941 in Toledo, Lucas, Ohio. I'm anxiously awaiting it in the mail.

Judy in Lansing, Michigan, found the obituary of my great-grandmother, Jennie Grace Christina (Plaine) Currie, wife of Archie Currie. Jennie died on 24 Dec 1937 in Marlette, Sanilac, Michigan. It was located in the Brown City Banner on 6 Jan 1938, p. 6, col. 2, "Neighborhood News - Omard." She found this at the Library of Michigan. Here is a transcription below:

Funeral services for Mrs. Archie Currie were held Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at the Elk Presbyterian Church with burial in the Omard Cemetery.

Jean Plane was born at Newberry, Ontario, May 9, 1902, the youngest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Plane. She spent her young life at Newbury. In August 1924 she was united in marriage to Archie Currie of Flynn township where she resided afterwards.

She was stricken with appendicitis on December 20th and taken to the Marlette hospital and operated on, and she was improving nicely when she suddenly passed away at 11:30 p.m. December 24th.

She leaves to mourn their loss: her husband, a daughter, Violet, 8 years old, a sister, Mrs. Russell Curtis of Windsor, Ont., two brothers: Wm. Plane of Mt. Brydges, Ontario, Howard Plane of Dresden, Ont. A son Howard and daughter Helena preceded her in death.

Rev. A.G. Howat, pastor of Presbyterian Church of which she was a member officiated. The floral offerings were beautiful and the family have the sympathy of the community.
I never knew about the appendicitis. I always thought she died of an aneurysm, though her death record, on second examination, says she died of a heart attack (coronary thrombosis).

I'm also eagerly awaiting the lookup of the death record of my 1st cousin 4 times removed, Martha (Pemberton) Day, by Alanna in Grand Traverse County, Michigan. Martha was enumerated as a patient in the Traverse City State Hospital in the 1920 and 1930 census records, so I'm curious what her death record will reveal about her mental state.

Lesa in San Bernardino County, California has said she would look up the obit of my first cousin once removed, Walter Frederick Arnold. Walter died tragically at the age of 14 in 1964 in Fontana, San Bernardino, California, when his motorbike that he had had received for his birthday collided with a car.

That is all I have to report on RAOGK at the moment. I encourage all to use RAOGK as both a volunteer and as a resource for your research.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Tribute to My Great-Grandmother, Hassie Cora (Proffitt) Mertena

I've decided at the last minute to get in a posting for the 68th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, "A Tribute to Women." My tribute is to my paternal grandmother's mother, Hassie Cora (Proffitt) Mertena. I've previously blogged about Hassie and my great-grandfather, Merlen Paris Mertena here. I've always admired my great-grandmother because she is the only one of my great-grandmothers who had a career before she was married and who has a college degree. I had the pleasure of getting to know her a little before she died when I was 5 years old. I think her death is actually the first time I had ever experienced anyone I knew dying. I remember playing with paper dolls at her house with my sister, and begging my mom to take me down to the little creek at the end of her dead end street.

Hassie was born on 26 Feb 1908 in Crescent, Logan, Oklahoma, to William Harmon Proffitt and Emmer Link Baker. She was the sixth of seven children. William was a minister with the Methodist Episcopal Church, so the family moved around quite often. In fact, William and Emmer had moved to Oklahoma around 1898-1899 from Tennessee in order to minister to the Native American population in Oklahoma.

Hassie is found with her parents at age 2 in 1910 in Harrison, Kingfisher, Oklahoma, in the U.S. census. Kingfisher County is just one county west of Logan County where Hassie was born and where she later married, in north central Oklahoma.

Below is a picture of Hassie with her parents and siblings taken at Fort Supply, Woodward, Oklahoma, in the northwest part of the state. Hassie is the second child standing on the left. This picture appears to have been taken about 1915-1916.

She is next found in 1920 at age 11 with her parents in Rock, Ellis, Oklahoma. Ellis County is in northwest Oklahoma on the border with northwest Texas.

By 1922, the family had moved to Buffalo, Harper, Oklahoma, near the border with Kansas. Hassie graduated from the 8th grade at Buffalo High School in May 1922.

In 1925, Hassie graduated from Ingersoll High School in Ingersoll, Alfalfa, Oklahoma. Alfalfa is two counties east of Harper County, also on the Kansas border.

Below are pictures of Hassie and her friend Ramona Madison, Hassie and the Ingersoll High girls' basketball team, and the graduating class of 1925 from Ingersoll.

UPDATE: I posted this pic on a message board for Alfalfa County and received a message from Marty Myers who said she would love to pass on the pictures to a lady named Ila Wessells, who had written a book on Ingersoll. This is what Ila had to say about the pic:
The basketball team was coached by my father Elbert Marlatt. He was also princpal. Reading left to right-Ethel, Edna or Elnora Appleton, Lillie Gerrels, Fannie Gerrels, Helen Haas, Pearl Wheeler, Hassie Proffitt, Viola Easterling, Lucille Tullis and Hazel Easterling. Lillie and Fannie was my husband's aunts. Viola was my aunt.

UPDATE: After poking around in census records, it looks like this pic was likely taken after the family moved to Logan County in the late 1920s. I've found Ramona Madison in Mulhall for several census years. This photo appears to have been taken on the same day as some other photos I have with names actually written on the back (yay!), which are not posted here. Those names have also been found in Logan County for several census years.

The guy in the Ingersoll class picture must be Carl Weigand, the only guy mentioned in the graduation program. Hassie is the one on the far left. It's funny that the program only mentions 5 graduates, but there are 6 people here.

In 1925, Hassie started college at the Northwestern State Teacher's College in Alva, Woods, Oklahoma, the county between Harper and Alfalfa Counties. This was a 4-year teacher's college founded in 1919 that is now Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She transferred around 1928 to Central State Teacher's College in Edmond, Oklahoma, Oklahoma. Central State Teacher's College was founded in 1890 as the Territorial Normal School. It became a 4-year college in 1919 and is now the University of Central Oklahoma. I have a suspicion the transfer was due to her father being transferred from northwest Oklahoma to Crescent in Logan County, returning to where Hassie was born. Logan is just one county north of Oklahoma County. Below are some of Hassie's report cards from college, as well as a picture that we think is her with her classmates at one of the colleges, perhaps her graduating class at Central. Hassie is the third one from the left in the front row.

After only attending school one year, it appears that Hassie received a teaching position in Pawnee County, Oklahoma, from 1926-1927. Pawnee County is two counties northeast of Logan County. Her teaching contract stated that she held a "certificate of the 2 year state grade." She made only $85 per month!! It appears from her report cards that she returned to college after teaching here. Perhaps this was something like a student teaching experience??

Below are pictures of Hassie with the family she boarded with in Pawnee County and her class.

In July 1928, Hassie was issued her teaching certificate from Oklahoma Department of Education.

Hassie taught at Lone Star School in Crescent, Logan, Oklahoma, from 1928 to 1930. Her parents were living in Crescent at the time. This is also where Hassie was born. Below are her teaching contract for the 1930-31 school year and one of her classes.

While she was teaching here, she met my great-grandfather, Merlen, who lived in nearby Mulhall. I believe Hassie's younger sister, Bessie, went to high school with Merlen. Merlen was two years younger than Hassie. They married on 14 Feb 1931, the topic of my previous post on them. They married at the Methodist church in Mulhall. My great-uncle, their oldest child, William John "Bill" Mertena, was born on 20 Aug 1931 in Frederick, Tillman, Oklahoma, where Hassie's parents were living. Tillman County is in southwest Oklahoma on the border with Texas. Below is a picture of Hassie with Bill at the house of her in-laws', John Henry Mertena and Blanche Welden, in Mulhall.

Like many women of her time, Hassie quit her teaching job once she married and had children, though the newspaper announcement of her marriage states that she finished out her school term. She and Merlen had three other children: Merlene Golda (my grandmother) in 1935, Joseph Henry "Tony" in 1941, and Jill Darlene in 1946.

Below are pictures of Hassie in later years. The one of her at the table with the Life magazine was taken by Bill around 1955-1960. The other was taken at daughter Merlene's house at Christmas time in 1981, the year I was born.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Fun: Surname Wordle

Randy over at Genea-Musings suggested doing a wordle of your surnames for Saturday night fun. Here is mine through my great-great-grandparents:

Wordle: Jen's Surnames

Here is my fiance's through his great-great-grandparents:

Wordle: Cade's Surnames

And here is one for my sister's husband:

Wordle: Richard's Surnames

Archie's Siblings: Alexander Currie

This is a continuance in my series about my great-grandfather, Archie Currie, and his siblings. Previously, I have blogged about Ervin and Bertha, Archie's older brother and sister. This blog is about another older brother, Alexander Currie. Alexander is the only sibling of Archie that my grandmother, Violet Mae Currie, remembered. Violet was Archie's only surviving child. She told me that she remembered her Uncle Alex and Aunt Minnie, who lived on a farm in Melvin, Sanilac, Michigan. They had a son named Donald, who was signifcantly older than Violet. Alex died around 1940-1945. My grandmother remembered attending the funeral and that Donald had been drunk during the funeral. She said her dad had to leave the funeral home for a little while and told her and her friend to watch over things and make sure Donald didn't cause a scene.

The earliest evidence I have of Alexander is his birth record, which I found at's "Ontario, Canada Births 1869-1909." Alexander Curry was born 11 Sep 1879 in South Dorchester, Elgin, Ontario, Canada to Alexander Curry, farmer, and his wife, Mary Raymond.

Ontario Registrar General, birth certificate 4710 (1879), Alexander Curry; digital image, "Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909," ( : accessed 14 Mar 2009); citing microfilm publication MS 929, roll 37, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.

I do not have any other record of Alexander until his marriage to Minnie Land in 1909. Alexander Curry and Minnie Land married on 24 May 1909 in Sandusky, Sanilac, Michigan. Alexander was a 29-year-old farmer from Maple Valley, Sanilac, Michigan. Minnie was 24 years old (born abt 1885) and also from Maple Valley. Alexander's age supports the birth date given in his birth record. Alexander's birth place was given as Canada, and his parents as Sandy Curry and Mary Brown (should have been Mary Raymond). Minnie's birth place was given as Romeo, Michigan, and her parents as Channcy Land and Blonney Van Schriber. Neither Alexander nor Minnie had been previously married.

Michigan Department of Vital Records, Marriage Registrations, 1909, 5: 9, no. 630, Curry-Land; digital image, "Michigan Marriages 1868-1925," FamilySearch Labs ( : accessed 14 Mar 2009).

About a year after their marriage, Alex and Minnie Currie appear in the 1910 U.S. Census in Maple Valley, Sanilac, Michigan, with son Theodore. They were living with the family of David E. Laidlaw, and Alexander was working as a farm laborer. Minnie was working as a servant, probably a housekeeper for the Laidlaw family. Alex was age 31 and Minnie was age 34, which seems in conflict with her age of 24 on her marriage record just one year prior. Alex's birth place was given as Canada, as were his parents' birth places. Minnie's birth place was given as Michigan, while her father's birth place is given only as U.S. and her mother's as Canada. Theodore's age was given as 0, so I'm assuming this means he was born in 1910. His birthplace is given as Michigan.

1910 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan population schedule, Maple Valley, enumeration district (ED) 146, sheet 3B, dwelling 61, family 66, Alex Currie; digital images, ( : accessed 14 Mar 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 674.

Alex is next found 8 years later on his WWI draft registration card. His name was given as Sandy Alexander Currie, but I know Sandy is a nickname for Alexander. He was now living in Melvin, Sanilac, Michigan, which is where my grandmother had remembered him living. His birthday was given as 11 Sep 1918 on the record, but obviously the year of birth is incorrect, as the draft card is dated 12 Sep 1918. The day and month match that found on his birth record. His age was also given incorrectly as age 45 because he was only 39 years old in 1918. He worked as a railroad section man for the Pere Marquette Railroad Company in Melvin. His nearest relative was Minnie Currie of Melvin.

"World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database and images, ( : accessed 14 Mar 2009), Sandy Alexander Currie, Sandusky, Sanilac County, Michigan; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA microfilm publication M1509, roll 1682814.

In January 1920, Elick and Minnie Curry were still living in Melvin with son, Donald. Elick was a 46-year-old farm laborer born in Canada. His age is again given incorrectly, as he was only 40 years old in January 1920. His father's birthplace was given as Canada and his mother tongue as Scotch, and his mother's birthplace was given as Canada and her mother tongue as English. Elick immigrated in 1885 and was naturalized in 1890. Minnie's age also seems incorrect at age 51, as she would have been about 34-44 years old. Her birthplace was given as Michigan, as were her parents' birthplaces. Donald was age 10 and was born in Michigan.

1920 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan population schedule, Melvin, enumeration district (ED) 164, sheet 11A, dwelling 33, family 33, Elick Curry; digital images, ( : accessed 14 Mar 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 797.

In April 1930, Alexander and Arminda A. Currie are found again in Melvin with son, T. Donald. Donald's first name must have been Theodore, the child's name enumerated with Alex and Minnie in 1910. Alexander was a 62-year-old laborer at odd jobs. Again, his age is given incorrectly, as he was only 50 years old in April 1930. His birthplace, as well as his parents' birthplaces, was given as Canada. Minnie's age was given as 51 years old and her birth place, as well as her parents' birthplaces, as Michigan. Alex's age at first marriage was given incorrectly as 41 and Minnie's incorrectly as 30. This time Alexander's immigration year was given as 1873 and his status as naturalized. However, he was not even born in 1873. T. Donald's age was given as 19 and his occupation as farm laborer.

1930 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan population schedule, Melvin, enumeration district (ED) 33, sheet 1A, dwelling 5, family 5, Alexander Currie; digital images, ( : accessed 14 Mar 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 1028.

I have not yet found Alexander's death record, but I haven't tried very hard to find it. I need to search the index of deaths on the FHL microfilm from Sanilac County. His correct immigration year is probably 1885, as the last known sibling I can find born in Canada was Bertha, born about 1884 (according to her marriage and census records), and the first known sibling I can find born in Michigan is Ervin, born about 1885 (according to his birth record). Alex likely immigrated with his parents in 1885 as a young boy. I would also like to find Alex's obituary, which was probably published in the Brown City Banner, which is housed at the Library of Michigan in Lansing. But first I will have to find the death record before I can look for an obituary.

Seeking more information on Donald, I've found a death record and obituary for him in St. Clair County, Michigan, just south of Sanilac County. His death record is transcribed here (St. Clair County, Michigan, Death Book 14: 313, Theodore T. Currie; County Clerk, Port Huron):

Decedent: Theodore T. Currie
Date of death: 12 Aug 1980
Place of death: Port Huron
SS#: 383-10-6914
DOB: 13 Apr 1910
Birthplace: Michigan
Sex: M
Race: W
Marital Status: Widowed
Cause of death: Metastic carcinoma of prostate
Age: 70
Occupation: Sweeper
Father: Alex Currie
Mother: Minnie Lamb
Informant: Robert Benjamin of Marlette, Mi.

His obituary is also transcribed below ("Donald T. Currie," obituary, The Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan), 13 August 1980, p. 10C.):

Flynn Township -- Donald T. Currie, 70, of 4126 Montgomery Road, died Tuesday, Aug. 12, 1980, in Mercy Hospital, Port Huron, after a short illness.

He was born April 13, 1910, in Melvin, and lived in Sanilac County all of his life.

Mr. Currie was a retired employee of the Yale Rubber Co.

He is survived by cousins.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Carman Funeral Home, Brown City. Elder John Murray, pastor of the Valley Center Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, will officiate. Burial will be in Melvin Cemetery.

Funeral home visiting hours are from 7 to 9 p.m. today and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

It seems somewhat sad to me that Donald had no survivors except some unnamed cousins. From the birth date given in the obituary, it appears that the 1910 census was taken only 9 days after Donald's birth, which must be why his age is listed as 0.

In summary:

11 Sep 1879 - Alexander Curry is born in South Dorchester, Elgin, Ontario, to Alexander Curry, a farmer, and his wife, Mary Raymond

24 May 1909 - Alexander Curry marries Minnie Land in Sandusky, Sanilac, Michigan. Alexander was a 29-year-old farmer living in Maple Valley, Sanilac, Michigan.

13 Apr 1910 - Alexander's son, Theodore Donald Currie, is born in Sanilac County, Michigan. Alexander is 30 years old.

Apr 1910 - Alex and Minnie Curry, with their son, Theodore, appear in the census in Maple Valley in the home of David E. Laidlaw. Alex is a 30-year-old farm laborer.

12 Sep 1918 - Alexander "Sandy" Currie registers for the WWI draft. He was a 39-year-old section man for the Pere Marquette Railroad living in Melvin, Sanilac, Michigan.

Jan 1920 - Elick and Minnie Curry appear in the census in Melvin, Sanilac, Michigan, with their son, Donald. Elick is a 40-year-old farm laborer.

Apr 1930 - Alexander and Arminda A. Currie appear in the census with their son, T. Donald Currie, in Melvin. Alexander is a 50-year-old laborer at odd jobs.

Abt 1940-1942 - Alexander dies. He is about 60-62 years old. My grandmother remembers the funeral being when she was about 10-12 years old. The funeral was in Sanilac County.

12 Aug 1980 - Alexander's son, Theodore "Donald" Currie, dies in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Smile for the Camera - Siblings

The word prompt for the 11th Edition of Smile For The Camera ( is brothers & sisters? Were they battling brothers, shy little sisters, or was it brother & sister against the world? Our ancestors often had only their siblings for company. Were they best friends or not? Show us that picture that you found with your family photographs or in your collection that shows your rendition of brothers & sisters. Bring them to the carnival and share. Admission is free with every photograph!

John Michael Pemberton, Deborah Darlene Pemberton, George Albert Pemberton, c. 1954

Back L to R: George Albert Pemberton, Deborah Darlene Pemberton, John Michael Pemberton
Middle L to R: Stephen Andrew Pemberton, Brian James Pemberton

Front L to R: Mark Anthony Pemberton and Pamela Sue Pemberton (twins)

c. 1960

Back: Stephen Andrew Pemberton
Front L to R: Mark Anthony Pemberton, Gloria ViAnn Pemberton, Pamela Sue Pemberton, Brian James Pemberton

c. 1965

Back L to R: George Albert Pemberton, Deborah Darlene Pemberton, John Michael Pemberton
Front: L to R: Brian James Pemberton, Mark Anthony Pemberton, Gloria ViAnn Pemberton, Pamela Sue Pemberton, Stephen Andrew Pemberton

At the wedding of their paternal aunt, Betty Jane Pemberton, and Alan E. Hackett

18 Apr 1964 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan

L to R: Gloria ViAnn Pemberton, Deborah Darlene Pemberton, Pamela Sue Pemberton
At the wedding of their nephew, Stephen Andrew Pemberton, Jr. and Amber Renee Gautreaux

Sturges Memorial Congregational Church, Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan

20 Jul 2002

Back L to R: Brian James Pemberton, Stephen Andrew Pemberton, John Michael Pemberton, Mark Anthony Pemberton
Front L to R: Deborah Darlene Pemberton, Gloria ViAnn Pemberton, Pamela Sue Pemberton, George Albert Pemberton
At the funeral of thier mother, Violet Mae (Currie) Pemberton Drouillard
Hixson Memorial Funeral Home in Vinton, Calcasieu, Louisiana
17 Dec 2008

Friday, March 6, 2009

Standard Legacy 7.0 vs. Deluxe Legacy 7.0

Recently, Lisa over at 100 Years in America has asked me what the differences were between the standard version of Legacy 7.0 (which is free with no limits on the number of people or number of days used) and the deluxe version of Legacy 7.0 (which starts at $29.95). There is a webpage over at Legacy which shows the differences between the two programs. So here are a few of my comments on what I can and can't live without in Legacy. I figured I would put this in a post rather than emailing Lisa because it may benefit other people as well. All of the features listed below are found in the deluxe version but not in the free, standard version.

1) Research guidance - Personally, I could live without this feature. I rarely use it. It's something similar to GenSmarts, but GenSmarts is much better. This tool is supposed to take the information in your database and suggest sources and repositories for further research on the selected individual, but most of the sources suggested are very general, such as Missouri Birth Records 1910-present located at the MO Dept of Health. I like GenSmarts better because it actually suggests very specific sources, such as a specific microfilm roll at the FHL. The only thing I like about Research Guidance is that it does list specific local/regional history books availabe about the areas where you ancestors lived.

2) Mapping - This feature is okay, but again, not one that I use too much. I would assume that AniMap and Map My Family Tree are more comprehensive and interactive, but Legacy does provide a quick overview of your family's migrations. By clicking on "Map My Family," Legacy Deluxe shows a map with pushpins where selected events took place for the selected individual. It also allows you to zoom in and out of the map to see as much or as little detail as you would like. It's a pretty handy feature if you just want to see a quick overview of an ancestor's moving patterns, but it's not enough alone to make me want to buy the deluxe version.

3) Historical timelines from around the world - Again, not a feature that I use very much. Allows you to incorporate historical events into chronology reports for your ancestors.

4) DNA markers - Allows you to record your DNA records. I have not used DNA yet, so I haven't used this feature either.

5) Chronology view/descendant view - I actually use the chronology report quite often. I used to create my own chronological profiles when analyzing research, but Legacy produces some very nice ones that show ages at the times of events in your ancestors' lives. I could probably live without descendant view, but it's a pretty nice feature if you just want a quick glance of the selected individual's descendants. I don't think I could live without chronology view or the reports you can produce from the chronology view.

6) Relationship calculator - I really like this feature, especially when I find a new cousin online and want to figure out how he/she is related. I would not like to live without this.

7) Compares 2 files for duplicates - I never use this b/c I am very leery about incorporating other people's files into mine. I do most of my own research and no longer just dump other people's research into my own database.

8) SourceWriter - Okay, this I could definitely not live without. More so than the chronology view/report. SourceWriter helps you to input your sources in templates based on Elizabeth Shown Mills suggestions in Evidence Explained. It is not a perfect tool yet, but you can always override the templates. I just wish I could create my own templates. I do not like Legacy's basic source system in the standard version. It does not help me with standardizing my source citations while keeping my master source list to a minimum. I felt like I had to create a master source for every little record in order to get my citation to look the way I wanted. For this feature alone, I would buy the deluxe version.

9) Publishing Center - I have not used this feature yet b/c I'm still perfecting a lot of the info I've entered into Legacy, but I plan to use it. It looks like a really neat feature. It allows you to put together various forms, such as a family group record, timeline chart, pedigree chart, descendant book report, etc. into one book format. If you plan on publishing one day, this would probably be a great tool to help you get started.

10) Interview Reports - Haven't used these yet. Could probably live without. You could probably find great suggestions on the Web for interview questions.

11) Produce PDFs - I really like this feature. Producing PDFs of all family group sheets, chronological reports, research notes, etc. serves as a great backup in case I lose my paper files. I back these up to Mozy every night.

12) Blank Census Forms - I usually get my census forms from

13) Calendar Creator - Don't really use.

14) Multiple lines of descent report - Have not used this much yet either, but it seems like a really neat tool. It allows you to publish the descendants of two or more different lines into one book.

15) File IDs Report - I prefer to use Clooz as my primary tool to keep track of file IDs. I do enter the File IDs in Legacy, but I do not use the File ID Report.

16) Add documents - Currently, the standard version allows only pictures, sound, or video files to be added to source citations and individuals. The deluxe version allows .pdf documents to be attached. This is handy b/c at my local Family History Center, it is much quicker to scan microfilm images as .pdf files than as .jpg files. With the feature to add documents, I don't have to convert my .pdf files to .jpg files when I get home.

Overall, I really like the Deluxe version of Legacy and prefer it over the standard, mainly due to SourceWriter, chronological reports, the ability to produce and attach .pdf documents, and the publishing center.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Archie's Siblings: Bertha Currie

Previously, I had blogged about my great-grandfather, Archie Currie, and his older brother, Ervin Currie. To continue in the series, this entry is about Archie's older sister, Bertha, whom I recently discovered.

As mentioned in previous posts, my maternal grandmother, Violet, daughter of Archie, never knew much about her aunts and uncles. She knew that her dad had a niece from the Detroit area who always came up to Sanilac County, Michigan, with her Polish husband to hunt on Archie's farm land. She would usually bring my grandmother gifts, and she was significantly older than my grandmother. My grandmother thought the niece's mother's name was Rose and that Rose was Archie's sister, but she could not remember ever meeting Rose, so she was not too sure about the name. After all these years, she couldn't even remember the niece's name or the Polish husband's name, although she had met them several times as a young girl. At this point, I thought I was at a dead end because I did not even know Rose's husband's name, and I could not seem to find a marriage record for a Rose Currie near Detroit nor in Ontario, where the Currie's were before they moved to Michigan. I felt pretty hopeless.

With the rather recent release of Michigan marriage records by FamilySearch Labs, I searched for all Currie's who had married in Michigan with a mother whose surname was Raymond. From Archie's marriage record, I had found that his mother's maiden name was Mary Raymond. Lo and behold, a marriage record surfaced for Bertha Currie and Alton Dye who married on 22 Jun 1918 in Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan. Bertha was age 34 (born about 1884), a resident of Pontiac, had a birthplace of Toronto, Ont., and had parents named Elick Currie and Mary Raymond. Archie's parents were Alexander "Alex" Currie and Mary Raymond, so I knew this had to be a sister! Alton was age 35, a resident of Pontiac, had a birthplace of Davisburg [Oakland County, Michigan], worked as an auto assembler, and was the son of Edward Dye and Florence Friday. Both Alton and Bertha had been married once before, but no married name was given for Bertha.

Michigan Department of Vital Records, Marriage Registrations, 1918, 4 : 240, no. 278, Dye-Currie; digital images, "Michigan Marriages 1868-1925," FamilySearch Labs ( : accessed 3 Mar 2009)

I then looked for Alton and Bertha in the 1920 U.S. Census. I found them living in Pontiac at 346 Central Avenue. In the household is Alvin J. Dye, age 36, born in Michigan, father born in England, mother born in Michigan, and working as a machinist in a foundry. Wife, Bertha Dye, was age 35, born in Canada, both parents born in Canada. There was a daughter, Doris Dye, age 15, born in Michigan, father born in Michigan, mother born in Canada. Alton and Bertha had been married for less than 2 years. Was 15-year-old Doris the daughter of Alton from his previous marriage since they shared the same last name? Or was Doris Bertha's daughter from a previous marriage enumerated under the wrong last name? Or was Doris Bertha's daughter from a previous marriage but adopted by Alton or using Alton's last name? Or, since there was no married name for Bertha listed on the marriage record, were Alton and Bertha married once to each other, divorced, and then remarried?

1920 U.S. Census, Oakland County, Michigan, population schedule, Pontiac (Ward 2), ED 211, sheet 4A, dwelling 66, family 67, Alvin J. Dye household; digital images, ( : accessed 4 Mar 2009); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 790.

I then looked for a marriage record for Doris Dye, on the slight hope that she married before 1926 (the FamilySearch Labs database cuts off at 1925). I found a marriage record for Adam Mazurek and Doris Dye who married on 26 Jan 1925 in Royal Oak, Pontiac, Michigan. Adam was born in Warsaw, Poland!!! I was literally doing a happy dance at this point because I had finally found the long lost cousin/niece from the Detroit area who had married the Polish man!!! In addition, the marriage record stated that Doris was age 19, was born and was resided in Pontiac, worded as a stenographer and bookkeeper, and was the daughter of Alton J. Dye and Bertha Currie. Adam was age 25, resided in Pontiac, worked as a bodymaker, and was the son of Joseph Mazurek and Mary Syrskie.

Michigan Department of Vital Records, Marriage Registrations, 1925, Oakland County, v. 8, no. 1111, Mazurek-Dye; digital images, "Michigan Marriages 1868-1925," FamilySearch Labs ( : accessed 3 Mar 2009)

I decided to look for Alton and Bertha and Adam and Doris in the 1930 U.S. Census. I found Bertha living alone at 52 Lafayette Street in Pontiac. Bertha was a renter, age 41, married, and was born in Canada. Both parents' birthplaces were given as Canada. She immigrated in 1892 and was naturalized. Her age at first marriage was given as 31. I found Bertha enumerated again living alone at 346 Central Street, in the same house from the 1920 U.S. Census. All other info matches the same as that at 52 Lafayette Street, except that she owned this house at 346 Central. The census taken at 346 Central was enumerated on 10 Apr 1930 and the one at 52 Lafayette was enumerated on 16-17 Apr 1930. Did Bertha move during those 6 or 7 days?

Alton J. Dye was living at 12 North Saginaw in Pontiac on 3 Apr 1930. He also rented, was age 45, married, age 34 at first marriage, was born in Michigan, had a father born in England, had a mother born in Michigan, and worked as a collector in his own office. This makes me wonder if Alton and Bertha were in the middle of a separation or divorce.

Adam and Doris were living at 114 W. Maryland in Royal Oak. Adam Mazurick was age 30, age 24 at his first marriage, was born in Warsaw, Poland, had both parents born in Poland, spoke Polish before coming to the United States, immigrated in 1910 and was in the middle of completing his naturalization papers, and worked as a machinist in an auto plant. Doris M. Mazurick was age 25, age 19 at first marriage, was born in Michigan, and had a father born in Michigan and a mother born in Canada. They had four children: Maxine M., age 5, Edwin A., age 3 11/12, Virginia M., age 2 11/12, and Marion T. (son), age 7/12.

Still wondering if Doris was actually Alton or Bertha's natural child (though she listed both as her parents on her marriage record to Adam Mazurek), I looked for all three in the 1910 U.S. Census. I figured from the ages on Doris's marriage record and on the 1920 U.S. Census that she was born sometime between 1904 and 1906. I could not find Bertha or Doris in 1910, though I did find Alton J. Dye and May E. Dye living at 58 Jackson Street in Pontiac. This must have been Alton's first marriage. Alton was age 26, married for 3 years, was born in Michigan, had a father born in England and mother born in Michigan, and worked as an assembler in an auto factory. No daughter named Doris was enumerated. Does this mean Doris was Bertha's natural child and not Alton's?

I then found a marriage record for Alton J. Dye and Mae E. Miller on 29 Jun 1906 in Fenton, Oakland, Michigan, at FamilySearch Labs. Alton was age 23, was born and resided in Davisburg, worked as a farmer, and was the son of E. J. Dye and Flora Friday. Alton and Mae must have divorced between 1910 and 1918, or Mae must have died.

I also found another peculiar marriage record at FamilySearch Labs. This one was for Bertha Currey and Otis J. Hicks who married 2 Feb 1898 in Mount Clements, Macomb, Michigan. Bertha was age 20 (born about 1878), born in Canada, resided in Pontiac, and was the daughter of Alex Currey. The age is not exactly the same as those suggested by the census records and the other marriage record, but the location of Pontiac does match. The father's name and birthplace also match. In 1898, Bertha would have been about 14, so maybe she lied about her age in order to marry without parental permission. I have not found Otis and Bertha in the 1910 U.S. Census either, so perhaps they divorced before 1910. I have not found them in the 1911 Canadian Census either or the 1900 U.S. Census either. Is it possible that Doris is the daughter of Otis and Bertha?

In summary:

Abt 1884 - Bertha is born in Ontario to Alexander Currie and Mary Raymond. Her marriage record said she was born in Toronto, but I have doubts about this because I have since found Alexander and Mary in Elgin County, which will be the topic of future posts.

Abt 1885 - Alexander and Mary immigrate from Ontario to Sanilac County, Michigan.

2 Feb 1898 - Bertha, residing in Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan, possibly marries Otis J. Hicks in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan. She is about age 14, but her age is given as 20 on the marriage record.

Abt 1904-1906 - Bertha gives birth to a daughter, Doris, at about age 20-22.

22 Jun 1918 - Bertha married for a second time to Alton J. Dye in Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan, at the age of 34.

Jan 1920 - Bertha, Alton, and 15-year-old daughter Doris are living at 346 Central in Pontiac. Bertha's age is given as 35.

26 Jan 1925 - Bertha's daughter, Doris, marries Adam Mazurek in Royal Oak, Pontiac, Michigan. Doris is age 19.

Apr 1930 - Bertha is living alone at two different locations in Pontiac: a rental house at 52 Lafayette and her own house at 346 Central. Alton is living alone in a rental house at 12 North Saginaw in Pontiac. Both give marital status as married. Adam and Doris are living in Royal Oak, at 114 W. Maryland and have 4 children.

To-Do List for Bertha:

1) Look for a divorce record for Bertha and Alton in Oakland County, c. 1930.

2) Look for land records for Alton and Bertha in Oakland County to see when the house at 346 Central was sold.

3) Look for additional marriage records for Bertha in Oakland County after 1930.

4) Look for a death record and obituary for Bertha in Oakland County.

5) Continue to look for Bertha in the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census records.

Wordless Wednesday: Trahan Brother

As mentioned previously, I've been scanning photos from my grandmother's photo collection that I recently inherited. This is one of my favorites. This is my little brother, Justin. This was taken about 1990 or 91 at my aunt's house. I'm not sure if that is a hot dog or a cigar in his mouth. I'm thinking it's a cigar. My uncle is notorious for doing crazy things to people when they fall asleep, such as painting guys' fingernails or putting cigars in kids' mouths.

This is my brother with my grandfather. This was taken at my grandparents' house on 19 Dec 2008 after the memorial service for my grandmother. What's funny is that you can see the family picture screen saver I put on my grandparents' computer in the background. That is my aunt with her three daughters.

This is my brother back in Sep 1989 with my grandmother. He was a year old. I found this picture when I was going through all 30 or 40 of her photo albums looking for pictures of her with all of her grandchildren to put in the memorial DVD created by the funeral home. This is probably my favorite one of her with a grandchild. They look like they are having so much fun.