Friday, December 31, 2010

Highlights of 2010

Well, I guess I was just kidding last month when I said I was back from studying. I haven't blogged since. Time just flies by. For a week I was just so stunned to not have to study, that I walked around in a blank stare not knowing what to do with myself. Then before I knew it, it was time for the holidays and travel home to Louisiana.

Anyhow, I thought I would blog about my genealogy highlights of 2010.

1) The best genealogy highlight is that I attended my first national conference in August. I attended the FGS Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, and had the best time. I met several other bloggers and attended many wonderful lectures, including one by Elizabeth Shown Mills. I also signed up for classes at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, and attended a live version of the Genealogy Guys podcast.

2) I participated in my first genealogy cruise with RootsMagic in Feburary. This was also my first cruise ever. It was a seven-day cruise that set sail from Miami and traveled to Royal Caribbean's private resort in Haiti, as well as Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. The speakers were Drew Smith and George Morgan from the Genealogy Guys Podcast, as well as Gary and Diana Crisman Smith, and Bruce Buzbee, founder of RootsMagic. We had classes on the two days that we were at sea. The morning classes were about general genealogy topics and were given by Drew, George, Diana, and Gary. Bruce presented the afternoon classes, which were specifically about RootsMagic. I also had a private session with Gary and Diana about my brick wall with my Mertena/Marteeny ancestors. On the days we were in port, there were no group activities, bbut we met up for dinner in the evening.

3) My greatest research highlight was that I think I finally broke through my brick wall on the Mertena/Marteeny ancestors. I discovered that my great-great-great grandfather, John Henry MARTEENY, born about 1854 in Illinois, was most likely the son of John MARTEENY and Hannah MILLHOUSE, of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. I think I even found Hannah living with her two children as a widow in the home of her brother in 1860. The whole household was enumerated as MILLHOUSE rather than MARTEENY, which explains why I couldn't find them before. I also found a Marteeny researcher who actually had documented sources. This whole discovery really reinforces the cluster genealogy concept. I found all of this by following the trail of other MERTENA/MARTEENY's in the same Illinois counties as my MERTENA ancestors.

4) Another great genealogy accomplishment is that I have started entering my sources into my Clooz software. I've gotten about 200 of my census records entered in there so far. It is all part of my goal to go paperless over the next five years. Clooz is an electronic filing cabinet of sorts. It has forms for census records, death records, marriage records, etc. that you can fill in with information from your actual records. You can run reports by person to see exactly what records you have on a person. It helps to see if you are missing a particular record on an ancestor. You can also run reports by location to see how many ancestors lived in the same county during a particular census year. You can also link the records in Clooz to your digital copies of your records.

5) My final major accomplishment in genealogy is that I got a handheld Magic Wand scanner for Christmas. While I was in Louisiana last week, I scanned in about 200 pages from some church record transcription books on the TRAHAN family. I don't have access to these books in North Carolina, so that will be a tremendous help until I can go to Louisiana again (or save up enough money to buy the books on CD-ROM for $400). I am also excited because this scanner is a lot quicker than my regular scanner on my printer, so I think it will speed up my paperless plan. I don't have things scanned because I hate walking over to the desk to hook up my laptop to a printer, and then waiting for the scan to finish.

Some other great highlights of 2010 were these:

1) My niece, Violet, was born on 30 Sep 2010. This was my first time being an aunt, and now that she is moving to Arkansas, she will be closer to me (okay, it is still 14 hours away from North Carolina, but this is better than her being all the way in California).

2) My 1st cousin once removed, Denni, was born on 30 Aug 2010. She has the cutest little chunky cheeks ever!

3) My fiance and I welcomed our sweet little cat, Callie (aka Boo Bear), into our lives in March. She appeared outside my apartment one day, and we decided to take her in. She has been the love of our lives and has provided much entertainment.

4) I moved from Louisiana to North Carolina at the end of June. That was the biggest move I have made in my 29 years. So far, I like North Carolina a lot. I love seeing snow. People here says it hardly ever snows, but I don't think they have ever lived in a place like Louisiana. In Louisiana, it rarely snows, so two to three times a year is a lot for me. I haven't gotten to explore North Carolina as much as I want because of studying for the CPA exam, but I did get to see the Blue Ridge Parkway and Outer Banks, which are both really pretty.

5) I got my CPA exam scores in yesterday. I passed! The bad news is that I have to start studying on Monday for the next part I'm taking on Feb. 28. This time, I plan on staying on track more so that I don't have to study 12 hours a day every weekend for the month before the test. That way, I may have more time for blogging. For those of you who don't know, there are four parts to the CPA exam. I have three more to go and 18 months from 11/29/10 to pass all four parts. So far, I'm on a good track to reaching that goal.

Preview of 2011:

1) Since our wedding was called off at the end of 2009, my fiance and I have been through a lot of ups and downs in our relationship. We are finally at a point where we both feel we are ready to get married again. So, no later than fall 2011, there will be a wedding. Our only obstacle now is living several states away from one another until he finds a job in North Carolina.

2) Two more additions will be made to the family: Brynnlee in January and Connor in March (both first cousins once removed).

3) I am applying for a supervisor position within the accounting department at my current company.

4) I plan to pass the remaining 3 parts of the CPA exam by the end of August.

5) I plan to start my National Institute for Genealogical Studies courses once I finish the CPA exam.

5) I will continue on my paperless organization project with my genealogy files. I also need to finish cleaning up my sources in my RootsMagic database that I transferred over from Legacy. Then I will finally be ready to do more research, instead of focusing on organization.

Happy New Year everyone!!!




Denni and Violet, Dec 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm baaacckk!

I just took my first of four exams necessary to become a licensed CPA. Needless to say, studying is why I haven't been blogging too much. Now that the first test is over, and my second test will not be until the end of February, I have at least a month to be study-free!!!! So watch out, because I'll be blogging more frequently now. And I *think* I did pretty well, but I won't know my scores for awhile (maybe not until January...yikes!).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SNGF: Birthdays

Randy over at GeneaMusings has challenged us to more Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF):

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Is there a person in your genealogy database that has the same birth date that you do? If so, tell us about him or her - what do you know, and how is s/he related to you?

2) For bonus points, how did you determine this? What feature or process did you use in your software to work this problem out? I think the Calendar feature probably does it, but perhaps you have a trick to make this work outside of the calendar function.

My birthday is April 25. The first person I can think of right offhand that shares my birthday is my 1st cousin once removed, Dee. Her mom and my maternal grandfather are siblings.

After a search of my RootsMagic database, I found two more people.

The first person is my great-great-great-grandfather, Charles Lesperance. He was born 25 Apr 1840, according to an online transcription of baptisms from St. Anne's Catholic Church in Detroit. I still need to verify that this is my Charles. Charles is the great-great-grandfather of my cousin, Dee, mentioned above.

The next person is on my dad's side of the family and is my second cousin three times removed, Helena Trahan. She was born 25 Apr 1910. She was the daughter of Jean Trahan and Bernadine Bernard. Jean was the son of Pierre Marie Trahan and Cidalise Julienne Robinson. Pierre was the son of Delphin Stainville Trahan, my fourth great-grandfather, and a slave named Fanny Becker.

To find these people, I went to Search>Person List>Find>Birth date contains April and Birth date contains 25. Of course, I found instances of people born April 1925 and such, but this was the best way I could figure to do the search.

In my old Family Tree Maker database, I found some more people:

1) Rosalie Hidalgo, b. 25 Apr 1850, my fourth-great-grandaunt (younger sister of my fourth-great-grandmother, Marie Calice Hidalgo)

2) Jean Clete Marcelin Domingue, b. 25 Apr 1828, my fifth-great-granduncle (younger brother of my fifth-great-grandmother, Maria Domingue)

3/4) Thomas Webb, b. 25 Apr 1795, and John Webb, b. 25 Apr 1804, my fourth-great-granduncles (brothers of my fourth-great-grandmother, Sarah Webb)

5) Joseph Thibodeau, b. 25 Apr 1739, my 7th-great-granduncle (older brother of my 7th-great-grandfather, Paul Thibodeau)

6) Anne Savoie, b. 25 Apr 1734, 7th-great-grandaunt (sister of my 7th-great-grandfather, Francois Savoie, and my 7th great-grandmother, Marguerite Savoie)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: John Peter Pemberton's Obituary

We continue in the Treasure Chest Thursday series on John Peter Pemberton (my maternal grandfather) with his obituary. I found this obituary in a box of my mom's keepsakes in the spare bedroom closet at my parent's house when I first started digging around for family history info. This was in the early 1990's when I was about 12. This is a memorial copy of the obituary that was originally published in the Port Huron (Michigan) Times Herald on 15 Oct 1970.

John P. Pemberton

John Peter Pemberton, 41, of 1828 Stone Street, died Monday in Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, after a short illness.

Born Nov. 18, 1928, Mr. Pemberton lived in Port Huron all his life. He married the former Violet Currie on Sept. 9, 1949.

He attended Port Huron schools and was employed as an engineer for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad for the last 20 years.

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force during World War II, he was a member of Charles Schoor Post No. 796, V.F.W. He was a member of the United Transportation Union.

He is survived by his widow; five sons, John M., George A., Stephen A., Brian J., and Mark A. Pemberton, all of Port Huron; three daughters, Miss Pamela S. Pemberton, Miss Gloria Pemberton, and Mrs. Deborah Chamberlain, all of Port Huron; his mother, Mrs. Mabel Beedon of Port Huron; three brothers, Frank M. Pemberton and Daniel R. Beedon, both of Port Huron, and William H. Pemberton, Flint; four sisters, Mrs. Nancy L. Jackson and Mrs. Barbara L. Post, both of Port Huron, Mrs. Betty J. Hackett, Madison Heights, and Mrs. Eva M. Hofeling, Bloomington, Calif.; and several nieces and nephews.

The remains are in Pollock-Jowett Funeral Home where services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Rev. M.V. Scutt, pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene, will officiate.

Burial will be in Caswell Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Ted French, Tom Hering, Bill Hering, Dave Stocker, Howard Wollen, Gordon Bailey and John McQue.

Memorials may be made to the Cancer Society.


This is one of the more informative obituaries that I've seen in my years as a genealogist. It talks about military service, education, occupation, and memberships, in addition to the family information.

One thing that caught my eye when I analyzed this for the first time about two years ago was that it stated he served in the air force during WWII. However, when WWII ended in 1945, he was only 16. I will post his military records in a future post for Treasure Chest Thursday, but I did find that he actually served in Japan in the years after WWII, which was considered the occupation period. I also have a copy of his VFW membership card.

Another interesting thing is that I don't recognize any of the names of the pallbearers, so they must have been co-workers or friends.

I did send off to the social security administration for his SS-5, but I'm still waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime, stay tuned for more Treasure Chest Thursday posts on John Peter Pemberton.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stovall Family in the Census Records

Well, I'm back in northern California again, visiting my sister and brother-in-law and my brand new niece, Violet. As some of you may remember, last year around this time, my sister had recently bought an old house that was built c. 1910. I did a post about the land records we found at the county courthouse in Colusa. According to town lore, Mary Eliza (Moore) Stovall built this house as a retirement home. There is a history of Colusa County online, which contains info on Jesse Curl and Mary Eliza (Moore) Stovall. It does not mention the house, but it does say that Mary Eliza (Moore) Stovall moved to the town of Williams after her husband died in 1902. According to the online history, Jesse and Mary married in 1859. In this post, I'm going to write about the Stovall family in the census records from 1860 to 1930.

1860 US Census, Colusa County, California, population schedule, township of Spring Valley, p. 15, dwelling 168, family 137, Jesse C. Stoval household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Oct 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 57.

Jesse C. Stoval, age 31, male, stock raiser, b. Tennessee
Mary E. Stoval, age 20, female, b. Missouri
Cordelia Stoval, age 5/12, female, b. California
Leonidas Bugg, age 12, male, b. Missouri
Berry Swift, age 20, male, laborer, b. Missouri

1870 US Census, Colusa County, California, population schedule, township of Spring Valley, p. 21, dwelling 160, family 149, Jesse C. Stovall household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Oct 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 71.

Jesse C. Stovall, age 48, male, white, stock raiser, value of real estate $89,920, value of personal estate $29,500, b. Tennessee, male citizen of U.S. at least 21 years of age

Mary E. Stovall, age 30, female, white, keeping house, b. Missouri

Cordelia Stovall, age 10, female, white, b. California

Mary Stovall, age 8, female, white, b. California

William P. Stovall, age 6, male, white, b. California

Jesse R. Stovall, age 4, male, white, b. California

Frank Lercan, age 35, male, white, sheep herder, b. New York, male citizen of U.S. at least 21 years of age

George H. Smith, age 40, male, white, sheep herder, b. Ohio, male citizen of U.S. at least 21 years of age

1880 U.S. Census, Colusa County, California, population schedule, township of Spring Valley, ED 15, p. 18, dwelling 118, family 119, Jesse C. Stovall household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Oct 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 64.

Jesse C. Stovall, white, male, age 56, married, stock raiser, b. Tenn. f.b. Kentucky, m.b. Ala.

Mary E. Stovall, white, female, age 39, wife, married, keeping house, b. Missouri, f.b. Ky., m.b. Ky.

Cordelia Stovall, white, female, age 20, daughter, single, at home, b. California, f.b. Tenn., m.b. [blank]

Wm. Preston Stovall, white, male, age 16, son, single, at home, attended school, b. California, f.b. Tenn., m.b. Mo.

James M. Stovall, white, male, age 11, son, single, at home, attended school, b. California, f.b. Tenn., m.b. Mo.

Hiram Stovall, white, male, age 7, son, single, b. California, f.b. Tenn., m.b. Mo.

Charley Stovall, white, male, age 5, son, single, b. California, f.b. Tenn., m.b. Mo.

Alonzo W. Hannah, white, male, age 28, single, carpenter, b. Virginia, f.b. Va., m.b. Va.

John Carroll, white, male, age 50, single, farm laborer, b. Mass., f.b. Ireland, m.b. Ireland

William C. Ralston, white, male, age 28, single, farm laborer, b. Ohio, f.b. Penn., m.b. Penn.

Richard H. Lyons, white, male, age 26, single, laborer, b. Ill., f.b. N.Y., m.b. Ireland

Edward Ralston, white, male, age 22, single, farm laborer, b. Ohio, f.b. Penn., m.b. Penn.

Charley Barker, white, male, age 22, single, laborer, b. New York, f.b. N.Y., m.b. N.Y.

Leonard H. Jones, white, male, age 39, single, laborer, b. Illinois, f.b. Ala., m.b. Ky.

Sing, Chinese, male, age 36, married, cook, b. China, f.b. China, m.b. China

1900 U.S. Census, Colusa County, California, population schedule, precinct of Williams, ED 8, sheet 7A, dwelling 139, family 139, Jessie C. Stovall household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Oct 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 85.

Jessie C. Stovall, head, white, male, b. Jany 1822, age 78, married for 41 years, b. Tennessee, f.b. Kentucky, m.b. Kentucky, capitalist, able to read/write/speak English, owns home free of mortgage

Mary E. Stovall, wife, white, female, b. July 1840, age 59, married for 41 years, mother of 8 children, 4 children still living, b. Missouri, f.b. Kentucky, m.b. Kentucky, able to read/write/speak English

Mabel Stovall, daughter, white, female, b. Sept. 1884, age 15, single, b. California, f.b. Tennessee, m.b. Missouri, attended school for 8 months, able to read/write/speak English

1910 U.S. Census, Colusa County, California, population schedule, township of Williams, ED 26, sheet 5B, dwelling 47, family 47, Mary E. Stovall household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Oct 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 74.

Mary E. Stovall, head, female, white, age 69, married for 50 years [actually widowed], mother of 8 children, 3 children still living, b. Missouri, f.b. Kentucky, m.b. Kentucky, speaks English, able to read/write, owns home free of mortgage

H.F. Clark, grandson, male, white, age 24, married for 3 years, b. California, f.b. California, m.b. California, speaks English, clerk in hardware store, wage earner, not at work on April 15, 1910, able to read and write

1920 U.S. Census, Colusa County, California, township of Williams, precinct of Williams, ED 31, sheet 6B, dwelling 25, family 25, Mary E. Stovall household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Oct 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 94.

Mary E. Stovall, head, female, white, age 79, widowed, able to read and write, b. Missouri, f.b. Kentucky, m.b. Kentucky, speaks English

According to the deed records we found at the courthouse, Mary E. Stovall died in 1930, which is probably why I can't find her in the 1930 census.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Introducing Violet

Violet Cecile
b. 30 Sep 2010

I am finally an aunt! Violet is named for her great-grandmother, Violet Mae CURRIE. I will be going out to California to meet Violet on Thursday! Can't wait! I've already bought her a onesie with a pedigree chart on it from Fun Stuff for Genealogists. I figure since she is named for her great-grandmother, she is going to have to be the next genealogist, right? Violet is the first grandchild of my parents. She is the second great-grandchild and first great-granddaughter of my paternal grandparents. She is the 18th great-grandchild and 9th great-granddaughter of my maternal grandparents. She shares the same birthday as her second cousin, Blake, and was born exactly one month after her second cousin, Denni.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Surname Saturday: BONEAUX

This Surname Saturday post focuses on the ancestors of my great-grandmother, Beatrice Marie BONEAUX. She was my paternal grandfather's mother. She is in the pic on my blog banner with the BONEAUX name written across it. This is one of my few Louisiana lines that is not of Acadian/Cajun descent. My great-great-great grandfather, Dominique BONEAUX, immigrated from France to Louisiana sometime before Dec 1869. The family story says that he met my great-great-great grandmother, Marie Alida MOUTON, while working at a restaurant in New Orleans. It does appear that Marie's stepfather, Gabriel DUBAN, owned property in New Orleans and was living there at the time of the 1870 census. Gabriel was also from France, so I have always wondered if he and Dominique knew each from the old country.

1. Jennifer Nicole TRAHAN (me)

2. Michael David TRAHAN (my dad)

4. Benford Maurice TRAHAN (my paternal grandfather)

9. Beatrice Marie BONEAUX was born 26 Aug 1910 in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana. She died 21 Jun 1993 in Sulphur, Calcasieu, Louisiana and was buried 23 Jun 1993 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana. She was the daughter of 18. Maurice BONEAUX and 19. Marie Alice SONNIER. She married 8. Bienvenue TRAHAN 14 Sep 1929 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana. He was born 26 Oct 1908 in Vatican, Lafayette, Louisiana, and died 18 Mar 2006 in Lake Charles, Calcasieu, Louisiana. He was the son of 16. Oscar TRAHAN and 17. Virginia PREJEAN.

18. Maurice BONEAUX was born 13 Aug 1883 in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana and was baptized at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana. He died 5 Sep 1934 in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana, and was buried 6 Sep 1934 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana. He was the son of 36. Dominique BONEAUX and 37. Marie Alida MOUTON. He married 19. Marie Alice SONNIER 10 Sep 1908 at St. Peter Catholic Church in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana. She was born 7 Sep 1891 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana, and was baptized 24 Oct 1891 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana. She died 7 May 1970 in Vinton, Calcasieu, Louisiana, and was buried 9 May 1970 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana. She was the daughter of 38. Joseph Numa SONNIER and 39. Marie Edmonia DOMINGUE.

36. Dominique BONEAUX was born about Jan 1837 in France. He died between 1910 and 1920, probably in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. He was the son of 72. Dominique BONEAUX and 73. Marie LACOSTE. He married 37. Marie Alida MOUTON 7 Dec 1869 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana. She was born 25 May 1840 and was baptized at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana. She died 22 Mar 1924 in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana, and was buried at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana. She was the daughter of 74. Cyprien MOUTON and 75. Cidalise Elizabeth DUGAS.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My Maternal Grandfathers

Align Left
This is a pic of my maternal grandfathers, John Peter Pemberton (1928-1970) and Clifford Robert Drouillard (1932-2009). They were friends for several years before John Peter passed away at age 41 from cancer on 12 Oct 1970. Clifford met John Peter through my grandmother, whom he worked with at the Prestolite factory in Port Huron, Michigan, in the 1960s. Clifford and his wife began bowling with my grandmother and John Peter. After John Peter died, Clifford's marriage ended in divorce, and he and my grandmother married on 22 May 1972.

In this picture, they are in their bowling outfits, so this must have been taken after a bowling game. It looks like they are at someone's house celebrating. This was probably taken sometime between 1967 and 1969. John Peter is on the left, and Clifford is on the right.

Thanks to Alanna at A Twig in My Tree, who gave me this idea to post the pic of my two grandpas together. See her two grandpas here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: John Peter Pemberton's Death Certficate II

I know that I promised this post about two weeks ago, but I have been terribly busy studying for the CPA exam. I expect the CPA exam to consume most of my life between now and next spring. I will try to blog at least once or twice a week during the next six months or so.

Also, I've decided to change the format of my Treasure Chest Thursday posts a bit. Instead of focusing on record type for the series, I am going to focus on people. For instance, I will first display all the records from my "treasure chest" on John Peter Pemberton, my maternal grandfather. Then I will focus on all the records of my maternal grandmother, paternal grandfather, and so forth.

Last time, I posted about the death record of my maternal grandfather, John Peter Pemberton, that was recorded in St. Clair County, Michigan. This week I will post the death record that was recorded in the city of Detroit. Yes, the man had two death records, for which I haven't quite figured out the reason.


I found this death record one day in 2007 or 2008 when I was at my maternal grandmother's house. I mentioned that I was going to have my mom sign off on some paperwork so that I could get my maternal grandfather's service records from the military personnel office in St. Louis, MO. My grandmother said that she probably had his service records, and she pulled out lots of old papers from some files in her bedroom. Well, this death record happened to be one of the papers. I was very happy, as this saved me about $25 from having to order it from the city of Detroit. In fact, I wasn't even sure if there was a record in Detroit, since I had found the one in St. Clair County, so this did confirm for me that there were two death records in two separate jurisdictions. Below is a transcription of the record:

Detroit Department of Health
Vital Statistics Division
Local File Number 14318
Certificate of Death
Deceased Name: John Peter Pemberton
Sex: Male
Date of Death: Oct. 12, 1970
Race: White
Age: 41
Date of birth: Nov. 18, 1928
County of death: Wayne
City of death: Detroit
Inside city limits: Yes
Hospital or other institution: Henry Ford Hospital
State of birth: Michigan
Citizen of what country: U.S.A.
Married, never married, widowed, divorced: Married
Surviving Spouse: Violet Currie
Social Security Number: [blank - handwritten in top righthand corner as 368-24-1966]
Usual Occupation: Engineer
Kind of business or industry: Grand Trunk Railway
Residence State: Michigan
Residence County: St. Clair
Residence City: Port Huron
Inside city limits: Yes
Street and number: 1828 Stone St.
Father-Name: Jack B. Pemberton
Mother-Maiden Name: Mabel E. Beedon
Informant Name: Violet Pemberton
Mailing Address: 1828 Stone St., Port Huron, Mich. 48060
Immediate cause of death: Adenocarcinoma of lung
Approximate interval between onset and death: 8 months
Autopsy: No
Physician attended deceased from Mar. 7, 1970 to Oct. 12, 1970
Last saw deceased alive on Oct. 12, 1970
Physician did view body after death
Death occurred at 12:49 PM
Certifier: Robert M. O'Bryan, M.D.
Signed Oct. 12, 1970
Mailing address: Henry Ford Hospital, 2799 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, Michigan 48202
Burial, cremation, removal: Burial
Cemetery or crematory: Caswell
Location: St. Clair Co. Mich.
Date: Oct. 15, 1970
Funeral home: Pollock-Jowett Funeral Home, 910 Harper Ave., Pt. Huron
Received by registrar Oct. 18, 1970

This obviously was the first death record created. It was received by the registrar in the city of his death only 6 days after his death. The one in St. Clair County was not recorded until 3 months after his death. This one is so similar to the one in St. Clair County, with the exact same mistakes made on the parents' names, that I really think the one in St. Clair County was merely copied from this one.

I noticed that the social security number was missing from the death record. I checked the social security death index at Ancestry.com, searching by his name and then by his social security number handwritten by my grandmother on the death certificate. I can't find anything. Was his death never reported to the social security office? It seems odd that it wouldn't have been reported because he left behind six minor children. My mom was only 11 years old. Wouldn't my grandmother have received survivors' benefits from social security for his dependents? Or, is he just missing from the online social security death index? This definitely calls for some investigation. Why have I never noticed this before? I guess I never thought to look for his SS-5, since I have so much other info and sources for him. I wonder if his work for the railroad complicated things because prior to 1951, railroad workers had their own retirement insurance system. But, in 1951, railroad workers with less than 10 years of experience became eligible for social security. He started working for the railroad in 1950. Hmmm....my aunt from Michigan is in town for a month visiting (I do have one cousin here in North Carolina, coincidentally). She is my mom's oldest sister and was 18 and already married when their dad died. She may remember if my grandmother ever received survivor benefits for the younger children. I'm going to have to pick her brain this weekend.

I'm sure glad I started participating in the Treasure Chest Thursday series. It's making me see holes I never noticed before.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Report on FGS 2010 in Knoxville - Part III

Ok, so I know everyone has moved past the FGS Conference last month and are now blogging about other things. I'm trying to savor the moments I had there by dragging out my posts. Actually, the truth is that as of two weeks ago, I have started studying for the CPA exam. That has taken up the majority of my time, which is why I haven't blogged in about two weeks. Now, if I could only remember what I did on the last day of the conference....

Well, lucky for you guys, I have a pretty good memory. This is the only day of the conference where I made it to an 8 AM session. I attended the War of 1812 session by Christine Rose. Missy Corley of Bayside Blog was in attendance. I really wanted to see Christine Rose, which is the only reason I woke up so early. I love her book on courthouse records, so I figured her lecture would be great as well. She did not disappoint. She described the causes of the War and also informed us about bounty land records, including unindexed bounty land warrant applications based on service between 1812 and 1855, which are available at the National Archives.

I really wanted to attend the 9:30 AM session on North Carolina and Tennessee land grant processes, but I had to skip breakfast in order to make it in time for the 8 AM session. I was so hungry that I had to leave the conference and walk to Pete's for breakfast, so I had to miss the 9:30 session. I arrived back at the convention center around 10 AM, so I had an hour to browse the exhibit hall. I spoke with Louise St. Denis, the director of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I had been eying their 40 course certificate program for awhile, so I talked to her about the cost of this program. She told me that she would be raising prices around September 1, and that there was a 10% discount and one free course for conference attendees. She also told me that I could take as long as I wanted to complete the certificate program. Hmmm...something to think about.

Next, I attended the 11 AM session on organizing materials electronically by Josh Taylor of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. The most important concept I learned in this session was about metadata. Metadata is data about data. Josh showed us a spreadsheet that he keeps about the kinds of documents he has found on an individual or family. The spreadsheet has the name of the digital file, format of the digital file, the document name/type, individuals referenced in the document, repository, source citation, date created/found, and date edited. I need to do an analysis to determine whether my Clooz software is sufficient for storing metadata, or if I need to create spreadsheets as well. I have an inkling that Clooz is sufficient, but the accountant in me loves spreadsheets.

After the 11 AM session, all the geneabloggers ate lunch down in Market Square. This was our last day together :(.

I decided to skip the 2 PM session to further contemplate and calculate the cost of signing up for the 40 course certificate program at the National Institute. I finally decided that it would be a great deal financially to at least sign up now and receive the 10% discount plus the free course, especially since prices were on the rise. I knew I would be studying for the CPA exam soon and that I wouldn't have much time for anything else, but if I could take ten years to complete the certificate, I might as well sign up now to receive the special discounts. So I returned to the exhibit hall and signed up for the certificate program in American Records.

My final two sessions I attended were on finding Kentucky Civil War ancestors and on finding records for ancestors that worked on the railroad.

That evening, I attended a party at the home of Missy Corley's sister, who conveniently lives in Knoxville. I picked up Amy Coffin of The We Tree Genealogy Blog from her hotel, and we headed to Missy's sister's house. (Most of the other geneabloggers had left to head back home after lunch). We had some of Missy's yummy taco recipe that was passed down from her grandmother. The party was really fun, and we got to meet some of her sister's community theatre friends. We also met up with Madaleine Laird of kInfolit at the party. This was a great way to end a great weekend.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: John Peter Pemberton's Death Certificate


This is my first Treasure Chest Thursday post. I've decided to first display the death records of my grandparents who are deceased (three of four), and then work backwards each week to display the death records of my great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, etc. This exercise will also help me see where I have holes in my research. Once I finish with the death records, I will move on to marriage records, birth records, etc.

The first post here showcases the death record of my maternal grandfather, John Peter Pemberton. I chose him first because a) he died first of all my grandparents and b) I'm too lazy to scan the other death records right now. This series of posts will also inspire me to scan more documents.

I ordered this death record from the St. Clair County Clerk in Port Huron, Michigan, in 2006. He did not die in St. Clair County, but he was a resident of St. Clair County at the time of death. I was actually surprised to find a death record here. I knew from his obituary that he died in Detroit, so I assumed I would find the death record in Wayne County. One day while searching online, I found the death index for St. Clair County, with his name included. This is when I decided to order the record from St. Clair County to see what it contained.

Full name of deceased: John Peter Pemberton
Record No.: 12-557
Date of death: October 12 1970
Date of birth: November 18 1928
Age of deceased: 41 years
Male or female: Male
White, black, mulatto, etc: White
Marital status: Married - Violet Currie
Name of informant: Violet Pemberton
Address: Port Huron, Mich.
Place of death: Wayne Co.
Birth place of deceased: Michigan
Occupation of deceased: Engineer
Father's name: Jack B. Pemberton
Birthplace or residency: --
Mother's name: Mabel E. Beedon
Birthplace or residency: --
Cause of death: Adenocarcinoma of lung
Recorded: January 11, 1971

The names of my grandfather's parents are not quite correct. His father was John Vital "Jack" Pemberton, but I guess "V" for Vital could be confused with a middle initial of "B." His mother was Mabel Ellen Crysler. Her second husband's surname was Beedon, not her maiden name. She was married to Daniel Robert Beedon at the time of her son's death, so perhaps my grandmother, the informant, didn't realize that she was supposed to give the maiden name of her mother-in-law instead of the current name. In her defense, I do have to say that this record just says "mother's name" and not "mother's maiden name." Perhaps it wasn't asking for maiden name.

As I was transcribing this death record here, I noticed for the first time the lag time between when he died and when the death record was recorded. It was about 3 months. As stated in the death record, he died in Wayne County (Detroit). I have a hunch that this was recorded in St. Clair County because this is where he resided and where the property he owned was located. Since it took three months from the time of his death to record it in St. Clair County, perhaps this death record was recorded for purposes of a probate. This reminds me that I need to search the probate records in St. Clair County for his probate.

I also noticed that his parents' birthplaces are missing. Perhaps my grandmother didn't know where they were born. I would say that maybe she was too distraught to remember, but since this was recorded three months after the death, I would think that the initial stress of losing a loved one would have subsided. I know that when she died in 2008, of course they called me into the meeting room at the funeral home to answer the questions about her parents' birthplaces, and any other day I could have told you the exact town of her mother's birthplace in Canada, but at that moment, I could only remember the county because my mind went blank with the stress that had ensued after learning of her death at 3 AM that morning.

Already, this exercise has proved useful. Stay tuned next week for the Wayne County death record of John Peter Pemberton that I found in my grandmother's papers after I had already ordered this one.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Evelyn Marie PEMBERTON


EVELYN MARIE PEMBERTON
FEB. 29, 1936
FEB. 28, 1948

My great-aunt
Elk Township Cemetery
Peck, Sanilac, Michigan

According to Evelyn's death record at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Port Huron, Michigan, she died from continuous epileptic seizures and edema of the lungs at age 11. My great-grandmother actually had two daughters who died from this same cause. I will feature her other daughter's grave in a future Tombstone Tuesday post. What is interesting about Evelyn is that she was born on Leap Day, and if she had lived just one more day, she would have died on Leap Day. Now that would have been weird.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Newest Addition to the Family Tree: Baby Denni

Photo courtesy of Denni's Aunt Paige

Denni ViAnn
b. 30 Aug 2010 at 1:08 am
6 lb. 12 oz.
19 1/4 in.

My aunt called me on the way to work this morning to let me know that Baby Denni had finally arrived. Baby Denni is the daughter of my first cousin and is my first cousin once removed. She is the first of 4 babies being born into the Pemberton/Drouillard family in the next 7 months, so I'm sure you will be seeing many posts like this during that time. The next baby on the list is my sister's baby, who is due in September.

Baby Denni was named for her PawPaw Dennis (maternal grandfather), who passed away suddenly in June 2009 of a heart attack at the age of 52, and her maternal grandmother, Gloria ViAnn. If she is anything like her PawPaw, she will be the family jokester, though I think her older brother is vying for that title, as he won Most Witty in his pre-kindergarten class last year.

Denni is supposed to be wearing the stylish outfit I bought her when she leaves the hospital, so I'll have to be sure someone back in Louisiana takes pics for me on that day. If anyone does, I'll post them here, so you all can be wowed by my sense of style. I have to say that her Aunt Paige's dress, shown in the pic above, is not too shabby. I guess I have a little competition!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Surname Saturday: CURRIE

1. Jennifer Nicole TRAHAN (me)

3. Pamela Sue PEMBERTON (my mom)

7. Violet Mae CURRIE (my maternal grandmother) was born 24 Oct 1930 in Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan. She died 15 Dec 2008 in Vinton, Calcasieu, Louisiana, from lung cancer and was cremated. She was the daughter of 14. Archie CURRIE and 15. Jennie Grace Christina PLAINE. She married 6. John Peter PEMBERTON 9 Sep 1949 at First Methodist Church in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. He was born 18 Nov 1928 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. He died 12 Oct 1970 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, from lung cancer. He was buried 15 Oct 1970 in Caswell Cemetery in Kimball Township, St. Clair, Michigan. He was the son of 12. John Vital "Jack" PEMBERTON and 13. Mabel Ellen CRYSLER. Violet then married Clifford Robert DROUILLARD 22 May 1972 in Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois (a destination wedding of sorts). He was born 10 Jan 1932 in Riverside, Essex, Ontario, Canada. He died 7 Sep 2009 in Windsor, Essex, Ontario, Canada, from lung cancer and was cremated. He was the son of Clifford Cleophas DROUILLARD and Eva Anna GENDRON.

14. Archie CURRIE was born 02 Nov 1889 in Maple Valley, Sanilac, Michigan. He died 15 Mar 1963 in Port Huron, Saint Clair, Michigan, from heart disease. He was buried 19 Mar 1963 in Omard Cemetery in Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan. He was the son of 28. Alexander CURRIE and 29. Mary RAYMOND. He married 15. Jennie Grace Christina PLAINE 27 Aug 1924 in Euphemia, Lambton, Ontario, Canada. She was born 09 May 1903 in Euphemia, Lambton, Ontario, Canada. She died 24 Dec 1937 in Marlette, Sanilac, Michigan, from a heart attack incurred after an appendectomy. She was buried 4 Jan 1938 in Omard Cemetery in Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan. She was the daughter of 30. Robert PLAINE and 31. Florence Minnie HILLMAN.

28. Alexander CURRIE was born about Nov/Dec 1838 in Ontario, Canada. He died 28 Dec 1909 in Maple Valley, Sanilac, Michigan. He was buried 30 Dec 1909 in Valley Center, Sanilac, Michigan. He was the son of 56. James CURRIE and 57. Margaret McGILL. He married 29. Mary RAYMOND about 1870-1872, probably in Elgin County, Ontario, Canada. She was born about 1852 in Tillsonburg, Oxford, Ontario, Canada. She died 7 Dec 1920 in Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan. She was buried 9 Dec 1920 in Omard Cemetery in Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan. She was the daughter of 58. John RAYMOND and 59. Unknown.

56. James CURRIE was born about 1815-1817 in Scotland. He died after 1881, probably in Elgin County, Ontario, Canada. He married 57. Margaret McGILL 22 Feb 1838 in Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada. She was born about 1815-1817 in Argylshire, Scotland. She died 21 Nov 1880 in South Dorchester, Elgin, Ontario, Canada.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Report on FGS 2010 in Knoxville - Part II

OK, I am finally back to continue my report on the FGS Conference in Knoxville. I fell ill on Monday, and it is great to be feeling well again. I thought it was just conference hangover at first, but I believe that I had a 24-hour bug. I left off my last posting with Day One at the conference.

On Day Two, I woke up late once again and missed the 8:00 sessions. I went to breakfast at the Crowne Plaza restaurant and then headed over for the 9:30 sessions. My session was about pension agents, examining surgeons, and pension bureau employees in the nineteenth century and was given by Dr. Kenneth W. Heger of the National Archives. This was also one of my favorite sessions, and fellow geneablogger Tina from Gen Wish List, was there. I learned that I should check the records containing appeals for my great-great-great-grandfather, John Pemberton. He had a very large pension file, and while it looks like most of his appeal info is in his regular pension file, Dr. Heger said that there is a possibility some of the information is in the appeals files, which are not indexed. If you haven't ordered a pension file for your ancestor, I highly recommend it. John Pemberton's was my biggest goldmine yet.

For the 11:00 session, I attended Victor Dunn's session titled "The Research Process." I did not see any other geneabloggers in attendance, but I did sit next to a gentleman from East Tennessee. He asked what surnames I was researching in the area, and when I told him that one was Proffitt, he said that there used to be a Proffitt Department Store in East Tennessee and that there are still lots of Proffitts in the area today. I really liked this session because it was a nice refresher course on the research process as outlined in the BCG Manual. It had a slight focus on tips for client research, which is helpful to potential professionals like myself. I also found out that the presenter was an accountant too, which is always a plus in my book.

Afterward, I attended lunch with Tina, Linda, and Tonia before heading back to attend George Morgan's session on locating Anglican parish records in England. I had heard George give a talk on vital records in England on the RootsMagic Cruise, so I knew that this would also be an informative and entertaining session. We learned the history of the Anglican Church, what information is contained in parish records, and where the parish records are located today. This will help me a lot with my Plaine and Hillman ancestors on my maternal grandmother's side. They immigrated from England to Canada in the 1850s and 1860s.

After hearing Elizabeth Shown Mills the first day, I had to go to her session about The Genealogical Proof Standard on the second day. Just about all geneabloggers were in attendance and sitting on geneabloggers row for this session. Once again, Ms. Mills reminded us that we need to check all records, no matter where they are located and whether or not they are indexed. She presented a wonderful case study on proving the parentage of her client's ancestor.

Between sessions, I ran downstairs to put my door prize tickets in the exhibitors' boxes before the big drawings at 6:00 PM. I was planning to attend the session on land records by Christine Rose, but I had left my belongings with the geneabloggers who were waiting for the session on timelines to begin. I did not have enough time to grab my things and then run back downstairs to Rose's session, so I decided to stay for the timelines session. I learned of a few websites to use when constructing timelines in genealogy.

After this, I headed back downstairs to put in a few more door prize tickets at the last minute. I had procrastinated filling out my door prize tickets b/c I didn't have any address labels. There were some awesome prizes given away, such as an iPad, 5-day genealogy cruise to Bermuda, seven-night stay in Salt Lake City, free conference registration to the Illinois State Genealogical Society conference and the NGS conference, etc. Of course, I didn't win anything. Oh, well. It was fun anyway.

Finally, I attended the War of 1812 reception, where we learned about the digitization project of the War of 1812 pension files. There was also a prize there: 7-night stay in SLC plus airfare, meal cards, and copy cards for the FHL. After the drawing was over, I headed back to the hotel after the longest conference day yet.

As it is getting late, I will wrap this up again. Stay tuned for more reports on FGS 2010 in Knoxville!

Wordless Wednesday: Cousins #9


L to R (front): Kennadi, Bryonna, Blake, Kennzie
L to R (back): Uncle Brian, Makayla (baby), and Amber


Christmas 2008
Front Porch of Clifford and Violet (Currie) Pemberton Drouillard
Vinton, Louisiana

Isn't this a great looking bunch? I do have hope for the next Pemberton generation.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Theodore Lewis "Teddy" PEMBERTON

Photograph by Tami (Pemberton) Lindsay

THEODORE LOUIS PEMBERTON
OCT. 30, 1932 - NOV. 15, 1935

My great-uncle
St. Mary's Cemetery
St. Clair, St. Clair, Michigan

According to his death record at the St. Clair County Courthouse, Teddy died of starvation, bronchial pneumonia, and whooping cough at age 3. My great-aunt, Barb, told me that he died in my great-grandmother's arms. She was not yet born at the time, but this is the story that she had heard from her mother, my great-grandmother.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Report on FGS 2010 in Knoxville - Part I

First of all, I just wanted to say that I had the most awesome time at the 2010 FGS conference in Knoxville. If anyone is wondering whether or not to go to a national conference, I would highly recommend it. Don't just say, "Well, I'll go one day." Just do it now. You won't regret it. I've been making excuses for 2 years now, and I'm so glad I made the decision to just go.

I first heard about the conference when I was on the RootsMagic Cruise in February (which I still need to blog about). I looked it up and found out that Knoxville was only a 5 1/2 hour drive from Raleigh, so I decided at that time that I would go. Of course, I'm an accountant, and January through April is a very busy time for me, so I soon forgot about it not long after I got back from the cruise. In June, I realized that I had not yet registered. By this time, I was already starting to make excuses as to why I couldn't go. My main excuse was that I was about to make a huge move from Louisiana to North Carolina and couldn't afford it, nor could I afford the time away from work in the middle of a company relocation. However, I went ahead and registered anyway before the early bird deadline, because I figured I would only lose $50 (admin fee) if I decided not to go. By registering early, I was saving $50, so my accountant mind figured that it all worked out. Up to the week of the conference, I considered backing out b/c of the stressful situation at work. I'm so glad that I didn't.

I left Raleigh at about 12:30 on Wednesday, Aug. 18, and arrived in Knoxville at 6:15 that evening. I was tired, so I just ordered room service and blogged before going to bed. The first day of sessions had ended by the time I arrived. I had decided in advance to skip the first day of sessions, since most of them apply more to officers in societies. I do plan to get involved in a genealogy society here in Raleigh, but since I just got here and haven't yet gotten involved, I figured the sessions did not yet apply.

I woke up Thursday morning, planning to attend the keynote session of the conference, but I didn't quite make it. I went to Pete's Coffee Shop instead for breakfast and then headed over to the convention center to pick up my registration packet before the exhibit hall's grand opening. At the exhibit hall, I met up with the other geneabloggers near the Illinois State Genealogical Society's table. The meeting was organized by the geneablogger king, Thomas MacEntee. We took a picture, which is up at Greta's Genealogy Bog. We visited for about 15-20 minutes, and then we all split up to visit the various booths. I bought two pieces of software: RootsMagic's Family Atlas and MagiKey's Census Tracker. I haven't tried either yet, but I plan to do a review of both of them. In addition, I also visited the booths for the Ohio Genealogical Society, East Tennessee Historical Society, Genealogical Speakers Guild, International Society for British Genealogy and Family History, Worldwide Cruise Headquarters, and the Illinois State Genealogical Society. One thing that piqued my interest is a trip sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. They offer a week-long trip to Salt Lake City, which includes classes in the morning and research assistance in the afternoons at the Family History Library.

The first session I attended was "The Manuscript Collection at the Kentucky Historical Society" by Lynne Hollingsworth. This session made me realize that I really have overlooked manuscripts in the past. My Renfro and Welden lines are from Kentucky, so it was helpful to get an overview of places I may find them at the historical society. I've already checked in the society's online catalog and have found a book on the Renfro's that I suspect includes my Renfro line, and a book on the Welden's that I suspect includes my Welden line.

After the first session, I decided that I needed to take my laptop back to the hotel because it was too heavy to carry around. I grabbed a sandwich from Pete's on the way back to the convention center and then went to the second session.

My second session was probably my absolute favorite session: "Poor? Female? Black? Slave? Southern Research Strategies" by Elizabeth Shown Mills (my genealogy idol). This presentation had two parts. The first part explained how to complete a reasonably exhaustive search for our elusive female ancestors, using Philomene from the novel Cane River as an example. I learned that I really need to use every source available, no matter where it's located, and even if it's not indexed. Sometimes, I have to admit, I have been guilty of only using online and indexed sources (bad Jennifer!). Ms. Mills explained that even though we were using a slave woman as an example, the techniques she taught could be used on any female ancestor, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. The second half of the session discussed how to use sources to reconstruct the life of a female ancestor, using the example of CoinCoin, a slave woman from Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana (where I went to high school, coincidentally).

i had initially planned to go to the session about the Tennessee State Library and Archives, but I was very tired by this point. So instead, I decided to attend the Genealogy Guys live podcast, especially since I didn't get to do so on the RootsMagic cruise. They asked the audience for questions, and I even got to say a few lines on the air. I asked George about resources at the North Carolina State Archives, which is located in my new hometown of Raleigh. I can't wait to listen to the podcast. Several other geneabloggers were in attendance at the podcast. Afterward, Linda, Tonia, and I ate dinner at Latitude 35 in Market Square, where we learned about one of Linda's intriguing ancestors and her journey to find out his story.

I would like to continue the review, but I think I will wrap it up at Day One for now. It is getting late and I have a cat that must have gotten my tweet earlier about her ignoring me. She has been sitting in my lap for this whole posting, and it is getting difficult to reach over her to type. I think it's safe to say that she missed me. Stay tuned for FGS 2010 in Knoxville - Part II.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yes, I am Alive and in Knoxville!

I haven't posted too much since I first arrived in North Carolina about a month ago. I apologize. I'm still working on trying to keep up at work. Relocating a whole company can be very challenging. I love new experiences, but I think I would have to think twice about moving with a company that is relocating headquarters again. Whew! But I do love North Carolina and my job, and I'm glad I am there.

For the next three days, I can forget about the challenges of work and delve into the FGS conference in Knoxville. I arrived this evening around 6:00 pm. It was a nearly 6-hour drive from Raleigh. It was an easy route to remember --- straight across I-40. The conference started this morning, but with the work piling up mentioned above, I decided to skip the first day of seminars and come in this evening. The drive here was beautiful. I drove through the Smoky Mountains, partially in a light rain storm. It was pretty neat to see the smoke coming off the mountains right in front of me. Unfortunately, I came by myself, so I didn't get to take too many pictures. Here is one of the Smokies near the North Carolina/Tennessee border.

Tomorrow, I am planning on ordering a nice breakfast from the hotel room service before attending the keynote speech at 8 AM. I believe there is a trolley, but I think I will walk to the convention center since it is only a block away. I then plan to explore the exhibit hall and meeting up with some geneabloggers before the 11 AM sessions. If I don't change my mind again, or if I can manage to arrive before the sessions get filled up, I believe I will attend the following three sessions tomorrow:

1) The Manuscript Collections at the Kentucky Historical Society - I have heard that there is info on my Renfro ancestors in the historical society's vertical files

2) Poor? Female? Black? Slave? Southern Research Strategies - I couldn't miss a presentation by Elizabeth Shown Mills. She is also using examples from one of my favorite novels, Cane River.

3) Ya'll Come See Us: A Virtual Visit to the Tennessee State Library and Archives - I'm sure there is much info there on my Proffitt ancestors.

And speaking of my Proffitt ancestors, I just realized today that I was actually in Jefferson County, Tennessee, the land of the Proffitts. I may have to veer off I-40 to Chestnut Hill to look for cemeteries and whatnot on Sunday.

Anyhow, I will try to post another update tomorrow or Friday.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Franklin Mearl PEMBERTON

Photograph by Don & Wendy McCallum (FindAGrave volunteers)

FRANKLIN M. PEMBERTON
NOV. 26, 1933
FEB. 3, 2008

MARRIED DEC. 22, 1961

JANET M. PEMBERTON
JUNE 28, 1934

My great-uncle
Sunset Memorial Gardens
Fort Gratiot, St. Clair, Michigan

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Getting Settled in North Carolina

I am finally settled into my new place in North Carolina. I am pleased with the new place because it has much larger living, kitchen, and bathroom area than my previous apartment in Louisiana. I now have 816 square feet vs. 630 square feet for the same price. I love the location as well. There are several restaurants just across the street, including Greek, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, etc. There's also a Target, Wal-Mart, TJMaxx/Home Goods, Barnes and Noble, a movie theater, grocery store, and Dairy Queen right across the street. Best of all, and genealogy-related, is that I have my genealogy office back!

When I downsized from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom in January, I had to dismantle the genealogy office due to lack of space. My desk ended up in storage, and everything else (besides the bookcases) ended up in my bedroom closet. This office is even better than my previous office because I don't have to share the space with a guest bedroom. I had to give up a dining room table to have my current office, but who eats at a table anyway? Of course, now I have a furry creature who thinks this is her new office:

At least I have a child interested in genealogy, right?

Not only did I get a new apartment and new genealogy office, I also bought a new car this week! My old car was a 2000 Dodge Neon that had seen it's day. I decided it's time for a new car so that I can feel safe driving in my new surroundings and taking road trips. There are several road trips that I would like to take now that I've got so many new places to explore! My new car is a 2010 Nissan Altima. It is fully loaded with everything except a navigation system (which I already have), so this has been super fun to me since my old car didn't even have a working radio or electric locks. I can listen to my iPod through the radio and even talk on my cell phone through the radio. It's pretty darn neat!!





And speaking of road trips, I've already taken one this week. Cade and I drove to the Virginia border and got on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Fancy Gap, Virginia. We drove down the parkway about 100 miles to Blowing Rock, North Carolina. It was a beautiful drive, though we didn't realize how much time it actually adds to your trip if you take the Parkway instead of the normal highways. We had intended to make it all the way to Asheville, but maybe next time.

View of the Piedmont (the area east of the Blue Ridge Mountains)

Virginia agricultural view on the Parkway

This must be why they call them BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS

Cade being silly on Blowing Rock

All in all, I am really pleased with my new surroundings. Hopefully, I will be back to genealogy blogging soon, especially now that I have my space back!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: John C. PEMBERTON

Photograph by Sherry (FindAGrave Volunteer)

JOHN PEMBERTON
CO. C.
1 MICH. CAV.

My great-great-great-grandfather
Centennial Cemetery
New Haven, Macomb, Michigan

Friday, June 25, 2010

Off to North Carolina!

Well, the day is finally here! It seems like just yesterday that I announced I would be moving to North Carolina. The movers came today and packed my apartment in just 2 hours. This would have taken me a whole week, but I guess with three guys who have no emotional attachments to my things and 20-30 years of experience packing, they were able to do it in record time. This is the first time that I've actually used movers to pack my stuff. I usually pack it myself, but I think from now on, I will just have them pack my stuff too. It is definitely worth not having the stress of packing.

I already hear my North Carolina ancestors calling my name. My BAKER line is from western North Carolina, so I need to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about them. I also have several lines, including the PROFFITT line, from East Tennessee, that I hope to learn more about since I will not be too far from that area. And let's not forget all my Virginia ancestors, since I will only be an hour from the border. On top of that, I will only be 4 hours from all the wonderful genealogy resources in DC!

My parents are coming to pick me and the grandcat (as they call her) up on Monday. We will arrive in Raleigh on Tuesday. My stuff should be arriving Thursday or Friday. I would like to buy a new car on Saturday, since my car now is 10 years old, so hopefully that works out well. Then the following week I am taking a much needed vacation!!!

Speaking of vacations, I think my next adventure may be a train ride from Raleigh to Sacramento when my sister has her baby in September. Some people think I am crazy, but I think that flying takes all the fun out of traveling (although I will admit it is very convenient and is my preferred method most of the time).

And speaking of adventures, I just registered this week for the FGS conference in Knoxville in August!!! That will be my mini-adventure before the big train ride across the country. It will be my first genealogy land conference, which reminds me that I still need to report on my RootsMagic cruise that I took back in February. Geez, time flies! The trip to Knoxville will be my first long trip that I take in my brand new car, so that should be fun.

Anyhow, I will probably not be back on until after we arrive in North Carolina! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: John Vital "Jack" PEMBERTON

JACK V. PEMBERTON
FEB. 19 1908
NOV. 22 1950

My great-grandfather
Elk Township Cemetery
Peck, Sanilac, Michigan

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Mertena Conundrum: Part III: Clues

My surname Saturday post about the MERTENA line got me to thinking that I needed to wrap-up my posts on the mysterious John Henry MERTENA. There are several clues that I have found online. I would like to summarize those clues here because I have not yet taken the time to write them all down in one place.

The first clue is the marriage record of Amos TETRICK and Rolla MERTENA on 21 Feb 1872 in Jackson County, Illinois. I've found the entry in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index at the Illinois State Archives website. John Henry MERTENA lived in Jackson County at the time of his marriage to Carrie ORTH in 1876. Perhaps Rolla was the sister of John Henry MERTENA. I need to order the marriage record to see if it has any clues about Rolla's family members.

The only other marriage record for MERTENA's in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index is for Carrie's second marriage to James Leonard COTHERN in 1887 in Williamson County.

I decided to do a little more research on Rolla MERTENA and Amos TETRICK in the census records. In 1880 in El Dorado, Saline, Illinois, is the following family:

A.J. TETERIC, white, male, age 26, married, dry goods merchant, b. Illinois, f.b. Illinois, m.b. Illinois

Cinderela TETERIC, white, female, age 22, wife, married, keeping house, b. Illinois, f.b. Pennsylvania, m.b. Pennsylvania

Birdie TETERIC, white, female, age 5, daughter, single, b. Texas, f.b. Illinois, m.b. Illinois

N.B. TETERIC, white, male, age 28, brother, single, dry goods merchant, b. Illinois, f.b. Illinois, m.b. Illinois

H. MARTINA, white, male, age 15, brother by law, single, clerk in store, attends school, b. Illinois, f.b. Pennsylvania, m.b. Pennsylvania

Barlius DENIS, mulatto, female, age 15, servant, single, domestic servant, cannot write, b. Illinois, f.b. Illinois, m.b. Illinois

This is likely the right family because the brother-in-law of Amos TETRICK has the surname MARTINA, which is most likely a variant of MERTENA. Saline County is one county east of Williamson County, where John Henry MERTENA married Carrie ORTH. It also borders Franklin County to the southeast and is two counties east of Jackson County. Here is a county map of Illinois. Rolla must be a nickname for Cinderella. She was born about 1857-1858 in Illinois. This means she was about 14 when she married in 1872. This is possible, but I'm wondering if the age in the census record is slightly off. Amos and Rolla must have moved to Texas around 1875. Both of Rolla's parents were born in Pennsylvania. There was mention that John Henry the son's father, our mystery man, was born in Pennsylvania. Maybe he was born in Illinois, but his parents were born in Pennsylvania. Or maybe he was older than Rolla and H. MERTENA and was born in Pennsylvania before their parents moved to Illinois.

I couldn't seem to find Cinderella/Rolla in the 1900 census, but I did find her in the 1910 census. She was living in Osceola Township, St. Clair, Missouri. This is in southwest Missouri. The family was as follows:

Cinderella TETRICK, head, female, white, age 58, widowed, mother of one child, one child still living, b. Pennsylvania, f.b. Pennsylvania, m.b. Pennsylvania, speaks English, own income, able to read and write, owns home free of mortgage

Byrd GOLLAR, daughter, female, white, age 34, divorced, mother of one child, one child still living, b. Texas, f.b. Illinois, m.b. Pennsylvania, speaks English, milliner, own shop, works on own account, able to read and write

Harry GOLLAR, grandson, male, white, age 6, single, b. Missouri, f.b. Missouri, m.b. Texas, attends school

This census record gives Cinderella/Rolla's birthplace as Pennsylvania instead of Illinois. Her age suggests a birth date of 1851 to 1852, which is more likely, given her marriage date of 1872.

I also did a Google search for Amos TETRICK, and came up with the following info. On this Perry County, Illinois website, there was a page about epidemics and early doctors. There was a general practitioner there named Amos Jubilee TETRICK who settled in the town of DuQuoin in 1858. His father had immigrated from Germany. He received his medical degree from McKendree College in St. Louis. His wife was Polly BARRON of New York. He died in 1901 at the age of 80. Could this possibly be my Amos' father? No wife named Cinderella or Rolla was mentioned, and because of his age, I assume this couldn't be the same Amos as Cinderella/Rolla's husband.

Next, I found a copy of Cinderella's death certificate at the Missouri Digital Heritage Project website. It said her parents were John MERTENA of France and Hannah MILLBURN of Pennsylvania. My John Henry's birthplace was once listed as France. If he is Cinderella's brother, is it possible his father was born in France instead? Cinderella was born 25 Mar 1852 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She died of diabetes melitis 17 Feb 1916 in Osceola, St. Clair, Missouri. The informant was Mrs. W.H. ROEDER of Osceola. She was buried in Osceola on 18 Feb 1916. I then found that she had an obit in the St. Clair County Democrat on 24 Feb 1916 and 16 Mar 1916. I obtained this info from the St. Clair County obituaries and deaths indexes at Ancestry.com. I need to order this obit.

I also need to order the obit of Amos TETRICK, who died on 10 Sep 1908 and had an obit in the same newspaper on 17 Sep 1908. He did not have a death record online because the death records database at Missouri Digital Heritage does not begin until 1910.

What's also interesting is that in 1870, in Perry County, Illinois, Amos TETRICK the physician is listed with his wife and children. His sons, Noble B. TETRICK, who was living with Amos and Cinderella TETRICK in 1880, and Jubilee TETRICK, whom I presume may be the same person as Amos J. TETRICK, were both listed as druggists. There is a family legend that John Henry's mother married a man who was a druggist after her first husband (John Henry's father) died at sea. Perhaps John Henry's sister married a druggist instead of his mother. In 1880, Noble and Amos are listed as dry goods merchants. I have seen in other branches of my family dry goods merchant and druggist used interchangeably in the census.

Amos TETRICK the physician is also enumerated in St. Louis in 1870. Family legend states that John Henry and some of his children were buried in St. Louis. The son of John Henry MERTENA, also named John Henry MERTENA, may have been born in East St. Louis, Illinois, according to his death certificate.

These are all the clues that I have for now. My next post will summarize my to-do list.

The Census Taker Finally Arrived

Well, I finally got a visit from the census taker. She did confirm that no one in this apartment complex got census forms, so I did not lose it in my mail pile on the counter. They don't ask the fun questions anymore. No occupation, citizenship status, birthplace, etc. How boring. Only name and age. Blah. I guess that's better than nothing.

Tombstone Tuesday: John Peter PEMBERTON


JOHN P. PEMBERTON
MICHIGAN
SGT US AIR FORCE
WORLD WAR II
NOV 18 1928
OCT 12 1970

My maternal grandfather
Caswell Cemetery
Kimball Township, St. Clair, Michigan

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blog Design Changes

Some of you may be wondering if you are at the right blog. Do not worry. You are. I decided to take advantage of some of the new templates that Blogger has added. I also decided that while I was at it, I would change my banner. My last banner was the first banner I had ever created. I liked it, but I decided that the photos were too random and represented my mother's side of the family more than my father's side. Besides, it was just an experiment in creating banners. This new banner has photos of all eight of my great-grandparents. I feel it more evenly represents both sides of the family. I tried to use photos of them in their twenties, though for some of them, I couldn't do this due to lack of photographs in this time frame. For those, I used the ones I had of them at the youngest ages possible. Anyhow, I hope everyone enjoys the new look! I decided that since I'm about to embark on a new adventure in North Carolina, my blog might as well embark on a new look.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Surname Saturday: MERTENA

1. Jennifer TRAHAN (me)

2. Michael David TRAHAN (my dad)

5. Merlene Golda MERTENA (my paternal grandmother)

10. Merlen Paris "Zack" MERTENA was born 09 Sep 1910 in Mulhall, Logan, Oklahoma. He died 07 May 1989 in Sulphur, Calcasieu, Louisiana. He is buried in Mimosa Pines Cemetery in Carlyss, Calcasieu, Louisiana. He worked most of his life as an operator for the Conoco oil refineries in Oklahoma and Louisiana. He moved with his wife and children to Ponca City, Kay, Oklahoma, around 1942 and then to Sulphur, Calcasieu, Louisiana, in 1952. Zack had his pilot's license and liked to fly airplanes. He was the son of 20. John Henry MERTENA and 21. Blanche WELDEN. He married 11. Hassie Cora PROFFITT 14 Feb 1931 at the Methodist parsonage in Mulhall, Logan, Oklahoma. She was born 26 Feb 1908 in Crescent, Logan, Oklahoma, and died 07 May 1986 in Lake Charles, Calcasieu, Louisiana. She is also buried in Mimosa Pines Cemetery in Carlyss, Calcasieu, Louisiana. She was the daughter of 22. William Harmon PROFFITT and 23. Emmer Link BAKER.

20. John Henry MERTENA was born 11 Mar 1884, possibly in Franklin County, Illinois. He died 28 Jan 1956 in Sulphur, Calcasieu, Louisiana. He worked all of his life as a farmer in Logan County, Oklahoma. He was the son of 40. John Henry MERTENA and 41. Carolina Cristina ORTH. He married 21. Blanche WELDEN 25 Dec 1907 in Mulhall, Logan, Oklahoma. She was born 31 Aug 1883 in Coffey, Daviess, Missouri and died 05 Feb 1970 in Sulphur, Calcasieu, Louisiana. She was the daughter of 42. James William WELDEN and 43. Henrietta Murl RENFRO.

40. John Henry MERTENA was born about 1854, possibly in Illinois. He died 12 Mar 1884, possibly in Franklin County, Illinois. He married 41. Carolina Cristina ORTH 13 Aug 1876 at the home of her stepfather, John BROWN, in Williamson County, Illinois. She was born 20 Jan 1859 in Williamson County, Illinois and died 10 Oct 1923 in Crescent, Logan, Oklahoma. She was the daughter of 82. Jacob ORTH and 83. Catherine BAIAR.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Newest Addition to the Family

Our newest addition to the family: Callie Fantastica Trahan Sepulvado

Hobbies: Playing in the bathroom, chasing bugs and invisible "invaders" around the apartment, attacking Daddy's feet, cat burglarizing Mama's jewelry, cat napping, and stalking birds

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Surname Saturday: PEMBERTON

1. Jennifer Nicole TRAHAN (me)

3. Pamela Sue PEMBERTON (my mom)

6. John Peter PEMBERTON was born on 18 Nov 1928 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps at Selfridge Field on 28 Sep 1946 in Harrison, Macomb, Michigan. He served as an automotive mechanic from 1947 to 1949 in Japan. Upon his discharge from the U.S. Army, John worked briefly on the assembly line at Chrysler before joining the Grand Trunk Railway as a fireman. He was later promoted to engineer. John died from lung cancer on 12 Oct 1970 at the age of 41 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. He was buried on 15 Oct 1970 at Caswell Cemetery in Kimball, St. Clair, Michigan. He was the son of 12. John Vital PEMBERTON and 13. Mabel Ellen CRYSLER. He married 7. Violet Mae CURRIE on 9 Sep 1949 at First Methodist Church in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. She was the daughter of 14. Archie CURRIE and 15. Jennie Grace Christina PLAINE.

12. John Vital "Jack" PEMBERTON was born on 19 Feb 1908 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan. Jack worked much of his life as a press operator at Mueller Brass in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. He died from a brain tumor on 22 Nov 1950 at the age of 42 at University Hospital in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Michigan. Jack was buried on 25 Nov 1950 at Elk Township Cemetery in Peck, Sanilac, Michigan. He was the son of 24. Lovell Hugh PEMBERTON and 25. Alvina Mary LESPERANCE. He married 13. Mabel Ellen CRYSLER on 7 Aug 1927 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. They were married by Rev. F.W. Jewell, pastor of Pentecostal Convention Tabernacle. Mabel was the daughter of 26. Ernest CRYSLER and 27. Nellie May REYNOLDS.

24. Lovell Hugh PEMBERTON was born on 14 Jan 1878 in Almont, Lapeer, Michigan. He worked as a blacksmith most of his life. Lovell died of chronic myocarditis on 23 Mar 1952 at the age of 74 in Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan. He was buried on 26 Mar 1952 at Saint Denis Catholic Cemetery in Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan. He was the son of 48. John C. PEMBERTON and 49. Mary Ann COOMBS. He married 25. Alvina Mary LESPERANCE on 10 Nov 1902 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Anchorville, St. Clair, Michigan. She was the daughter of 50. Charles LESPERANCE and 51. Christine GOSLIN.

48. John C. PEMBERTON was born on 3 Apr 1839 in Blenheim, Ontario, Canada. I am still trying to determine whether he was born in Kent County or Oxford County. He immigrated with his parents and siblings to the U.S. (Michigan) around 1855. He fought in the Civil War and served in Company C, 1st Michigan Cavalry from 10 Oct 1863 to 7 Jun 1865. After returning from the War, he settled in Lapeer and Macomb Counties and worked as a blacksmith the remainder of his life. He died from a stroke on 27 Nov 1912 at the age of 73 in New Haven, Macomb, Michigan. He was buried on 30 Nov 1912 at Centennial Cemetery in New Haven, Macomb, Michigan. He was the son of 96. Jeremiah PEMBERTON and 97. Susanna JERMYN. He married 49. Mary Ann COOMBS on 30 Dec 1865 in New Baltimore, Macomb, Michigan. She was the daughter of 98. John M. COOMBS and 99. Mary A. STITT.

96. Jeremiah PEMBERTON was born about 1811-1812, most likely in New York. He lived in Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada in 1836, at the time of his marriage. By 1860, he was living in Brownstown, Wayne, Michigan, with his wife and children. Around 1864, he moved to Clay, St. Clair, Michigan, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was also a blacksmith. He died from inflammation of the lung on 7 Jul 1881 at the age of 70 in Clay, St. Clair, Michigan. He married 97. Susanna JERMYN on 19 Nov 1836 at Saint James (Anglican) Cathedral in Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada.