Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Katherine (Proffitt) Marshall

Katherine Proffitt Marshall
Sister of my great-grandmother, Hassie Proffitt Mertena

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Eva Edna (Pemberton) ROWLEY

Photograph by Don and Wendy McCallum (FindAGrave)

Eva E. Rowley
Wife of Truman E. WWII Vet
July 17, 1916
June 24, 2001

My great-great-aunt
St. Denis Catholic Cemetery
Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan

Eva was the younger sister of my great-grandfather, John Vital "Jack" PEMBERTON. She was the 8th of thirteen children. She married Truman Elnathan ROWLEY on 26 Oct 1938 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan. She was the last of her 12 siblings to pass away.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Surname Saturday: PREJEAN

PREJEAN is the surname of my great-great-grandmother, Virginia (Prejean) TRAHAN. This is one of my many Acadian/Cajun lines. Virginia and my great-great-grandfather, Oscar TRAHAN, divorced sometime around 1920, so I lost her whereabouts for awhile. From what I understand, my great-grandfather, Bienvenue, only had sporadic contact with his mother after his parents divorced. When I first started doing genealogy research, I could have sworn that my paternal grandmother, Bienvenue's daughter-in-law, did not have any info on Virginia's death because Bienvenue had lost contact with his mother. Several years later, I found a Virginia SCHENKEL with the same birth date in the SSDI with a last residence in the right area of Louisiana. After a little asking around on Acadia Parish message boards, I found a person who actually remembered growing up as a child next door to Virginia SCHENKEL, and someone else even offered to find her obituary for me. Sure enough, it was my Virginia. It actually mentioned Bienvenue as a surviving child. I brought it to my grandmother, and she was like, "Oh, I thought I had given you all of that info. I remember going to her funeral. They did reconnect later in life before Virginia died."

Virginia PREJEAN
Born 12 Jul 1889 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana
Married Oscar TRAHAN 18 Jan 1908 at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Scott, Lafayette, Louisiana
Married Louis SCHENKEL 4 Nov 1932 in Acadia Parish, Louisiana
Died 3 Mar 1977 in Crowley, Acadia, Louisiana
Buried in Crowley Cemetery

Paul Lucius PREJEAN
Born 11 Feb 1866
Baptized at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, Louisiana
Married Marie Alicia BERNARD 22 Jan 1885 at St. Peter Catholic Church in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana
Died 10 Mar 1938 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana
Buried 11 Mar 1938 in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana (probably St. Peter Catholic Church cemetery)

Ursin Theomile PREJEAN
Born 26 Nov 1831
Baptized at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, Louisiana
Married Adenysa LEGER 20 Nov 1854 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, Louisiana
Died 22 Feb 1888
Buried at St. Peter Catholic Church Cemetery in Carencro, Lafayette, Louisiana

Maximilien PREJEAN
Born 11 Jan 1797
Baptized 26 Jan 1797 at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville, St. Martin, Louisiana
Married Marie Tarsille BREAUX 10 Jul 1816 at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville, St. Martin, Louisiana
Married Marie Phelonise THIBODEAUX 25 Nov 1822 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, Louisiana
Died 13 Jan 1834
Buried at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church Cemetery in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, Louisiana

Dominique PREJEAN
Born 20 Oct 1774
Baptized 2 Nov 1774 at Ascension Catholic Church in Donaldsonville, Ascension, Louisiana
Married Marie Madeleine SAVOIE 25 Oct 1793 at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville, St. Martin, Louisiana
Died 6 Feb 1846
Buried at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church Cemetery in Grand Coteau, St. Landry, Louisiana

Born abt 1724 in Chipoudy, Acadia
Married Marie Madeleine MARTIN 21 Jul 1749 in Port Royal, Acadia
Married Marie THERIOT 07 Nov 1773 at Ascension Catholic Church in Donaldsonville, Ascension, Louisiana
Buried 4 Dec 1787 at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Cemetery in St. Martinville, St. Martin, Louisiana
Read more about Amand and his journey from Acadia to Louisiana here.

Joseph Cristome PREJEAN
Born about 1700 in Port Royal, Acadia
Married Marie Louise COMEAUX 28 Sep 1723 in Port Royal, Acadia
Died 1756 in Acadia

Jean PREJEAN dit Le Breton
Born about 1651, probably in Brittany, France
Married Andree Marie SAVOIE abt 1683 in Port Royal, Acadia
Died 06 Jun 1733 in Port Royal, Acadia

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Lovell Henry and Vera Delores (Barnes) PEMBERTON

Photograph by Don and Wendy McCallum (FindAGrave volunteers)


My great-great-uncle and aunt
St. Denis Cemetery
Lexington, Sanilac, Michigan

This is the tombstone of my great-grandfather's younger brother, Lovell Henry PEMBERTON, and Lovell's wife, Vera Delores BARNES. Lovell was the third son and seventh child of Lovell Hugh PEMBERTON and Alvina Mary LESPERANCE. He was born 4 Jul 1915 in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Michigan, and died 22 Aug 1972 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. He married Vera Delores BARNES, daughter of William BARNES and Eileen A. BLAKE, 10 Nov 1934 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan. Vera was born 10 Sep 1918 in Croswell, Sanilac, Michigan and died 3 Jan 1995 in Tucson, Pima, Arizona.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Am I Just Being Paranoid?

Lately, I've been getting emails about genealogy from people claiming to have a connection, but who don't give any info or very vague info about their families. See below:

hi, your information keeps popping up in my searches and i think we have similarities in our trees i would like to collabrate
Am I just being paranoid, or do you think this person really has a connection? This person contacted me via's message system, so I clicked on his/her profile to see if he/she had any family trees at This person did, but it had nothing in it. It was basically a blank tree.

Another email I received looked like this:

I was doing a Goggle search for photos of Pembertons & I notice several submitted by you. Are you related to the family?

So I emailed this person back and gave him a brief pedigree on the Pemberton line going back to my 4th great-grandparents. The initial email he sent did not concern me too much because he mentioned a specific surname. But his response did concern me:

I can say with centenary my sister found proof of us being related to both the Civil war General but the man whom invented Coca Cola too as well.

Aside from the fact that I am annoyed by people who are certain all Pemberton's are related, especially to General Pemberton and the inventor of Coca-Cola, it freaked me out a little because the word "centenary" is a very personal word to me and it doesn't make sense in the sentence. I went to college at Centenary College, and it can sometimes be used to prove my identity. Perhaps this is just a spell check error. I'm sure he meant to put "certainty." Still, I found it odd that he didn't give me any more detailed info on his own pedigree. So I stopped all communication at this point.

I just normally don't send vague emails to people about genealogy. I will usually mention at least one ancestor or surname in a first email to someone I think has a connection. I suppose my fear is that these people are interested in identity theft.

Does anyone else ever get these kinds of emails? What do you usually do about them?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Daniel and Mabel Crysler Pemberton Beedon

Photographed by Tami Lindsay


My great-grandparents
Woodland Cemetery
Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan

This is the grave of my great-grandmother, Mabel Ellen (Crysler) Pemberton Beedon. Daniel R. Beedon, Sr. was her second husband. She married him 16 Apr 1954 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. Mabel was the mother of my maternal grandfather, John Peter Pemberton.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Census Sunday: My Great-Grandparents in 1930

I got the idea for this post from Leah over at Leah's Family Tree. Like Leah, in order to get ready for the 1940 census release in 2012, I need to get my census records I already have in order. Each week, I intend to post the census records I have for a particular family generation or family group in a particular census year. This week I am posting on my great-grandparents that I have found in the 1930 census. As I post, I will make sure the source is properly cited in my RootsMagic database. This week I am starting with my great-grandparents in 1930.

1930 U.S. census, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Police Jury Ward 1, enumeration district (ED) 3, sheet 3A, dwelling 45, family 45, Maurice Boneaux household; digital images, ( : accessed 12 June 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 797

This is the census record of my great-grandparents, Bienvenue and Beatrice (Boneaux) TRAHAN and my great-great-grandparents, Maurice and Marie Alice (Sonnier) BONEAUX. They were living in Police Jury Ward 1 in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. I believe this is the modern-day rural community of Ossun and the family property that my family still owns. Bienvenue and Beatrice had just gotten married 14 Sep 1929 and were living with Beatrice's parents. My paternal grandfather would not be born until 1935. I believe this census record has Maurice's father's birthplace incorrect. It says he was born in Louisiana, but all other records say he was born in France. It also has Maurice's age wrong by about five years. Church records say he was born in 1883, not 1877-1878, as suggested by his age here. Everyone else's age is also off by a year or two when compared with church baptismal records.

It's funny how this census record confirms a story that Bienvenue told me about two years before he died in 2006. He said that Beatrice actually asked him to marry her and he said that he couldn't marry her because he had no money to support her. She said that was okay because they could just live with her dad and he would support them. If you look at the census, Bienvenue's job is listed as laborer at odd jobs, but "laborer" is crossed out and "none" is written across it. He is given a number on the unemployment schedule.

1930 U.S. census, Logan County, Oklahoma, population schedule, Mulhall Township, enumeration district (ED) 23, sheet 5A, dwelling 73, family 80, John H. Mertena household; digital images, ( : accessed 12 June 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1912

This is the census record of my great-grandfather, Merlen Paris MERTENA, and my great-great-grandparents, John Henry and Blanche (Welden) MERTENA. Merlen is the father of my paternal grandmother. He was 19 and single, still living at home with his parents in Mulhall, Logan, Oklahoma, in April 1930. He and my great-grandmother, Hassie Cora PROFFITT, did not marry until 14 Feb 1931. My great-great-grandfather was listed as a farmer, which coincides with all the stories my grandmother has told me about him.

And speaking of Hassie, I have not been able to find her in the 1930 census. She was a teacher in 1930, so I believe the family she boarded with may not have included her in the enumeration. I need to dig into school records some more to find out exactly where she was teaching in 1930. I have checked her parents' household in 1930, but she was not included in their enumeration.

1930 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Michigan, population schedule, city of Port Huron, enumeration district (ED) 37, sheet 19B, dwelling 453, family 472, John V. Pemberton household; digital images, ( : accessed 25 December 2005); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1025.

This is the census record of my grandfather, John Peter PEMBERTON and my great-grandparents, John Vital "Jack" and Mabel Ellen (Crysler) PEMBERTON. John Peter is my maternal grandfather and the only grandparent who was born before 1930. They were living at 1650 McPherson Street in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. Jack and Mabel had married 2 1/2 years earlier on 7 Aug 1927 in Port Huron. John Peter was 2 years old (born 18 Nov 1928) and his little sister, Eva, was born just two months before the census in 1930. Jack was working as a laborer at the country club. From city directories, I have found that 1650 McPherson was at the intersection of 13th Avenue, not far from where McPherson dead-ends at the Black River.

1930 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan, population schedule, Flynn Township, enumeration district (ED) 15, sheet 3B, dwelling 67, family 67, Archie Curry household; digital images, ( : accessed 12 June 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1028.

This is the census record of my great-grandparents, Archie and Jennie (Plaine) CURRIE (spelled CURRY here). They were living on their farm in Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan. This is one county north of St. Clair County, where my maternal grandfather's family was located in 1930. Archie and Jennie married on 27 Aug 1924 in Jennie's hometown of Euphemia Township, Lambton, Ontario. They had two children before 1930, but both died very young. They likely died before the 1930 census because they are not enumerated. Their third child, my maternal grandmother, Violet Mae CURRIE, would not be born until October 1930.

I hope you have enjoyed my tour through the 1930 census. I now have all four of the census records featured here sourced in my database.

Update on May Genealogy Goals (Better Late Than Never)

Well, I am finally getting around to posting on my May genealogy goals status. I didn't do as well with my May goals as I did with my April goals. Planning a wedding kind of got in the way. The poor CPA exam is just going to have to go on hold until after the wedding.

1) Add at least 5-10 more items from my "To Be Entered" folder into my RootsMagic database. - I don't think I managed to get anything added from my "To Be Entered" folder.

2) Clean up source citations for databases in my RootsMagic database. I had been cleaning up sources by family, which I will continue to do, but there are some sources that can be cleaned up quickly if I fix all the citations for those sources at one time. These are the ones that usually require very little detail and very little media images. Mainly, they are the databases at, such as the Michigan deaths database or the Texas birth index. - I did do a little cleanup on some California, Michigan, and Texas vital records index sources in my master source list.

3) Start adding HOFFNER/URBAN family sources to my RootsMagic database. This is my Aunt S's family line. I was going to do this last month, but I added a little more detail to my Aunt L's family line instead. Most of my sources for this will be obits I obtained a few years ago from a Louisiana newspaper and online sources, such as census records and such. They originated in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, which are three states I'm not too familiar with, so this ought to be interesting. I'll have to see what online databases are available for these states. - This is where I had the most success. I entered all census records, military draft records, obituaries, and city directory sources that I found on and in Louisiana newspapers for the HOFFNER family. I am stuck because there are two James HOFFNER's born within the same time period in Philadelphia, and I don't want to continue until I confirm which one is the correct James. To do that, I need a death record or a marriage record that names his parents. That's not something easily found online, so I'm bypassing it for now while I work on other lines in this family. I will return to it later. I am now working on entering sources for the GROFF family, which is my aunt's paternal grandmother's family. I never did get started on the URBAN line, which is my aunt's mother's line.

I'm not going to do any June goals because of all the wedding planning going on. Goals will go on hiatus until the fall.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This is the Face of Genealogy

Susanna Jermyn Pemberton (abt 1820-1891)
My great-great-great-great-grandmother

Thanks to Debbie Kraus's Tripp-Smith family tree on, I was able to see what Susanna looked like. Debbie is the great-granddaughter of Susanna's son, Samuel Pemberton. I am the great-great-great-granddaughter of Susanna's son, John Pemberton. My mom's second cousin, Steven, is the one that informed me that Debbie had this picture.