Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dobereiner Family Postcard-- Currie, Minnesota

I recently purchased this 1909 Easter Postcard...
It was sent to Mrs. J.F. OShea of Currie, Minnesota from her "sister Martha"
After some research, I was able to find that Amelia Dobereiner was married to J.F. O'Shea in 1904 and her sister Martha Dobereiner married Frank W. Johnson in 1911.
They were daughters of John & Amalie Dobereiner and the family resided in Murray County, Minnesota for many years.
I would love to find a descendant of Martha (Dobereiner) Johnson that might appreciate this postcard written in her hand... sadly, Martha died as a young woman in 1919... and I'm not sure if she had any children live to adulthood or not.  So perhaps there is a member of the O'Shea family that would appreciate this 105 year old Easter greeting.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mystery Photo... Gottschling- Martin County, MN

Richard Gottschling of Martin County, MN

I recently rescued this photo from a local antique shop

Someone wrote "Richard Gottschling" on the back side
It was taken at a Fairmont, MN photography studio

A check of the MN Marriage Index shows that Richard P. Gottschling & Minnie M.S. Ohlenkamp were married 6 Sept 1905 in Martin County. 

It seems very likely that this is a photo from that marriage. 

I'd love to find a descendant or other relative that I could return this cabinet card to!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mystery Photo... Arthur Bonderson... Winthrop, MN

I recently rescued this photo from an antique shop

Someone wrote on the back
"Aurther Bonderson    Adolfs son"

It was taken in a Wintrop, MN photo studio
I did a brief search and it appears that Arthur Bonderson was born in 1896 and lived in the Sibley-Nicollet County area.

It seems that there were a couple of Arthur Bonderson's from Minnesota.

I'd love to find a descendant or other relative that would love & appreciate this nice baby photo

[5.27.2014-Update* Photo has been returned to a relative!]

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Martin County Links... Minnesota Genealogy Resources

As a genealogist from Minnesota, I take great pride in the many resources our state has in place to aide researchers! Many, like the death index, are very well known, but many many others are not.

So I've decided to spotlight a few of the lesser known greats here, in hopes that I can connect someone with a tool they can use! Since Saturdays are good days to do genealogy (at least for us working folks), I decided to post these links then.

Martin County Genealogical Society
A great county resource for all of your research needs! Check out the website for further details and information on membership. For the Facebook savvy among you, you can 'like' them on their official MCGS Facebook page

Martin County Historical Society
The Genealogical & Historical Societies are under the same roof and have incredible resources and information. 

Martin County Rootsweb Resources
Yes, these have been around awhile, but you never know what you might stumble upon from years past. Old queries and other information can be found here.

Martin County "Find-A-Grave" listings
If you aren't familiar with Find-a-grave [which surely you must be!], hurry up and check it out. 
At least one cemetery there has been walked & photographed completely [I know, I did it!]
Nashville Cemetery but there are others that are close to complete as well... others, not so much so

What about you?  Do you know of any great Martin County resources out there?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mystery Photo... Nels Johnson of Minnesota

This mystery photo was taken by a Minneapolis, MN photographer

Someone penciled 'Nels Johnson' on the back

To search for someone with such a common name in a large metropolitan area is nearly impossible, at least for me, who has no connection to this person.

Hopefully I can reunite this very nice photo with a family member who will appreciate it!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Philanda Elkins Risdon... Who was she?

One of my most elusive Female Ancestors of all time is this 4x Great-Grandmother.

Philanda Elkins (or could it be Perkins?) was born sometime in the later 1810s, I think circa 1816-1818... probably in Vermont?   In addition to not knowing her last name for certain – the spelling of her first name has nearly never been spelled the same way twice – though for the time being and for the sake of space, I’ve adapted Philanda… She did have a granddaughter born with that spelling, so it seems a likelier option than Filinda or other variations.

She was married sometime prior to 1835 to Harley (Harla) Risdon, probably someplace in Vermont... They would go on to live in various places, but were in Erie, New York for a time.

By 1860, the Risdon family had relocated to Putnam County, Illinois and their children included, but are not lmited to, Harl, Caroline “Carrie” Bruce, Almond, George (died in Civil War), Leroy (died young?), Henrietta Ross, Lydia Buckingham, Oscar & Susan Lemira “Lea” Walker.

Incidentally, in the 1860 census, Harley Risdon is listed as “pauper” – I assume this to mean there was little money – and by  1870 Harley is no longer with the family – at 70 years of age, I assume him to be deceased.

At this time the Risdon children are found in various places… some married and on their own, others living with siblings and some as “servants” in other households.  Others, like George & possibly Leroy are deceased.

To add to the mystery, in 1870 there is a second  Philanda Risdon of similar age living in a neighboring county! This second Philanda eventually married Elijah Pomeroy and remains living in LaSalle County, at least through 1880.

My Philanda is gone from Putnam County after 1870. I’ve tried to trace the origins of the second Philanda Risdon, but she appears to have dropped from the sky.

It’s possible that my Philanda was incorrectly included in the 1870 Putnam County Census – or was visiting at the time – and then also made the same census for neighboring LaSalle County as well—stories such as this are certainly not unheard of.

I’ve traced the Risdon descendants forward – in hopes of finding fellow descendants—it seems only Harl, Carrie, & Lea made it to “old age”, as they are the only ones living beyond 1900… though I don’t have proof of death for most of them – so anything is possible.

Who was Philanda Risdon? Was she an Elkins or a Perkins? Are the two 1870 Philanda’s actually the same person? And regardless, what happened to either of them after 1870/1880?

After 20 years of research,  I have more questions than answers – I’d love to connect with any Risdon researchers out there and anyone familiar with the Elkins name.