Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving~ Food & Family

The Dead Relative Collector would like to wish everyone a safe & fruitful Thanksgiving Holiday! 

Enjoy the time with family—making new memories & remembering the old. If you are fortunate enough to have elder members of your family at your gathering, get them talking about Holidays & gatherings of yesteryear. 

If you are able, take some old photos or other memorabilia to get memories & stories started. You never know what great, previously unknown story a photograph might trigger.

And of course, be sure to take some new photos to remember this Holiday in the future!

There may be fewer post here during the coming weeks-- hustle & bustle of Holidays taking up time.

Travel safe. Be Well & Thankful~

Monday, November 23, 2015

Susan Hindman Cole... Grandma Unknown

Like many female ancestors I have – Susan Hindman is pretty much a mystery.

Susan (Susannah) Hindman was born ca 1816, possibly in Pennsylvania. She was married to William W. Cole on ­­8 June 1839 in Sandusky, Ohio. 

Marriage record for William Cole & Susannah Hindman

I’m not sure if Susan was a resident here prior to her marriage... And I’m not even sure about the spelling of her first or last names! Some records show her as Susan vs Susannah and her surname as Hineman vs Hindman/Hindeman.

I have not been able to locate William Cole in the 1840 census yet. Or any Hindman families that could be connected. By 1850 they are living in Steuben County, Indiana. Though according to birthplaces for their children, it seems they lived in Michigan before returning to Indiana, before returning back to Hudson, Michigan by 1854 for the birth of my Great-Great Grandfather.

In 1861, eldest son Byron enlisted in the Civil War, a resident of Lenawee County. I can't locate the family in the 1860 census, but assume they are still there. 

By 1870, the whole Cole family have moved to what is now Kandiyohi County, Minnesota with their families.

William & Susan Cole had at least 5 children: 
Byron A. Cole born 1842- Indiana
Jennet Finn Welliver born 1845- Michigan
Anna Marie Randall born 1847- Michigan
Martha Gay born 1849- Michigan
Delivan W. Cole born 1854- Hudson, Michigan

 —but it is possible that there were other children, though no others show up in any census records, and at the time of William’s 1902 death, these were the only listed as survivors.

Death Record
Susan died on 12 April 1889, at age 73. She is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in New London, Minnesota. Her grave is unmarked.

There appear to be a number of descendants interested in the Cole family—you will stumble upon many trees on Ancestry…  and I have been in contact with different ‘cousins’ over the years. No one seems to know anything of Susan’s early life.         

Family of William & Susan Cole
Susan is in the middle row

I’d love to connect with any Cole descendants or Hindman researchers who might be able to shed some light on this mysterious Grandma and who she was prior to her marriage!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mystery Photo --- Minnesota or Iowa

This photo was among photos belonging to my Great-Great Aunt, there was family in Iowa and Southern Minnesota... 

I'm not sure if this is a relative, or just a friend of hers.

This snapshot is in pretty tough shape, after years in an old attic.... but they are pretty striking couple... 

I guess the photo was taken 1925-1935, based on clothing... 
It is possible they are connected to the Bruce, George or Averill families.

Hopefully someone will recognize them someday

Thursday, November 19, 2015

TBT Photos of Yesteryear- Arnold Weerts

Spotlighting photos from my extensive photo archive
This week it is

Arnold Weerts

In honor of last weeks Veteran's Day-- here is a photo of my Great-Great Uncle Arnold Weerts during his time serving in World War I.

Arnold was the second son born to Herman & Elizabeth Weerts in Iowa. Eventually they settled in Southern Minnesota, where Arnold would spend nearly all of his life-- marrying & raising a family. He died in 1955, the first in his family of 10.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mystery Photo-- Johannes Randahl of Illinois

I recently rescued this cabinet card from an antique shop. 

Someone wrote 'Johannes Randahl' on the back side
It comes from a Moline, Illinois photographer.

It seems that eventually Johannes ended up in Northern Minnesota. I've yet to do any significant research into this boy to see what became of him, but I'm hoping to reunite him with a family member who will treasure it

Friday, November 13, 2015

Has Genealogy gone 'Mean'? Rudeness Among Us

Has genealogy gone ‘mean’? I'm beginning to wonder!

In today’s world of Facebook groups, blogs, message boards & comment sections – there are no shortage of opportunities for people to ‘speak their minds’. And lately, I’ve been taken aback by the level of “meanness” that’s been displayed. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still consider genealogists to be among the most helpful people out there – but there is no place for rudeness in our world!

In the future, before you post a comment, reply, or ‘vent’ – 
I ask you to consider these 6 questions:
-Is this truly helpful
-Have I fully read/understood what I’m replying to
-Would I appreciate this response if I received it
-Is my ‘vent’ appropriate, on subject or necessary
-Am I sharing vs lecturing
-Would I say this if we were face to face

Genealogy itself is a vague hobby. We all have different techniques, methods, goals and end results. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. It’s a very personalized  hobby. Much of it is personal preference vs right/wrong. All of us have been at for various lengths of time and with varying degrees of activity. And longtime genealogists are very well are of how drastically our hobby has changed in the last 20 years with the advent of the internet.

I encourage you to regularly ask yourselves those 6 questions. If we aren’t being kind or helpful to one another – let’s just pass on sharing that with everyone.

Recently, on a Facebook group I belong to – a gentleman posted about searching for the burial locale of some ancestors. His quest was clear – he stated what he’d already done and what he was hoping to accomplish. Anyone who read his brief post should have had no questions or doubts… but many of the responses were anything but helpful. In his original post he state he was “desperate to find burial information”. One of the first responses was from a lady who shamed & criticized this man, stating “I can’t imagine being desperate to know anything – I’d like to know, but to be desperate…” And BANG! the debate over desperate was off. And completely inappropriate & off topic, besides not at all helpful. Another responder, a self-identified Findagrave rule expert, opened the always contensious subject of Findagrave – again, off subject and not appropriate. It took great restraint for me to not jump into those discussions but that doesn’t help to join an angry mob. Incidentally, I have no idea if the poor man ever found any help with his original post.

Not long ago, I received a shockingly rude email from someone regarding a Findagrave memorial. I couldn't believe the tone and condescending nature. Of course this person did not message me thru F.A.G, but instead emailed me (I have my address listed), with their anonymous no-name email address. I just did not understand the need to be rude.

It’s no surprise to me to see the frequent posts “I’m leaving this group due to rudeness/negativitiy” – and there are countless others I’m sure who stay silent, keeping their great offerings to themselves – or leave quietly without a word to anyone.

Yes. I know. Findagrave is NOT a perfect site. 
Yes. Ancestry is far from perfect.
Is it productive to rant and rave against these resources. No. Probably not.
Some of us are "experts" and some are "novices". 
Is my way better than yours? Yours better than mine?
Discussions are wonderful. Arguments, not so much so.

Personally, I use the resources I like. Ignore the ones I don't. I follow blogs and read articles that I find interesting and pass by those I do not. I rarely comment on contentious posts or subjects. My time is worth more than that. And so should yours!

We live in a world of opinions. And we now have much easier avenues in which to share those opinions. We can still teach, disagree, and even  dislike in a respectful manner!

This is my own form of "ranting & raving". If you've read to the end, know my intentions are pure and my only hope is that it might cause a few people to pause, and be a little kinder.

Remember those 6 questions above. 
Remember we're all in this together.

Be Kind & Keep Digging!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

TBT Photos of Yesteryear- Ossian Maine Family

Spotlighting photos from my extensive photo archive- 
This week it is 
Ossian Maine & Family

Back Row- Roy, Carl, Alfred, Alvin, Lester, Alonzo
Front Row- Mayme, Ossian, Vina, James[4 other children died in childhood]

Ossian and wife wife Melvina married & lived in Southern Minnesota, before moving up north to Cass County in the 1890s. Eventually they settled in North Dakota.

Ossian was the son of Erastus & Eliza Maine of Winnebago, MN... One of ten siblings- Jessie, Irving, Spencer, Selwyn, Hattie, Olive, Ralph, Minerva, & Crissie completing the family.