Sunday, December 20, 2015

Mystery Photo- Break... See you in 2016

The Dead Relative Collector will take a short hiatus posting any further "mystery" photos or documents until after the New Year. With the Holiday hustle & bustle, this blogger could use a break... and is also aware that readers are otherwise occupied with more pressing priorities!

But do not fear! We will return in 2016! In fact I'm looking at a neat confirmation certificate, old German baptismal certificate & a pile of identified photos-- all begging to be reunited with family in the coming year.

Thanks to many mystery loving readers, The Dead Relative Collector was able to reunite countless loss heirlooms with happy, appreciative relatives! 

I hope 2016 is just as fruitful, in both the returning of heirloom treasures... and in my ability for find them to showcase here. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Death of Family Tree Maker! [GASP]

Anyone remotely involved in the genealogy world, surely heard the surprising(?) news that Ancestry would be discontinuing it's genealogy software- Family Tree Maker. This was, of course, upsetting news to the many who use & rely on this software. 

My personal response to this news was "Meh"... as I have never been a user it. As a pre-Internet genealogist, I've been adapting to the new technologies slowly as they've been introduced to our hobby.... unlike the thousands (or millions?) of genealogists who created an Ancestry account and "made a family tree".

In the 1990s, when I had a Mac [one day I will reinvest in one!], I used the software Reunion, which I absolutely LOVED. Even after I later got a Windows laptop... I kept my old desktop Mac because I still couldn't part with my Reunion genealogy.

Later, after that desktop became SO elderly, I downloaded the free version of Legacy. And while this program, in my opinion, greatly paled in comparison to Reunion... I learned to adapt.

Before deciding on Legacy, I did look closer at Family Tree Maker--- but I never really cared for the layout of the program-- friends of mine used it, though in the early days they just wanted the genealogy discs that came with it. Remember those old days, before the Internet boom, when you purchased these discs full of submitted genealogy... but I digress. 

After awhile, I decided to upgrade beyond the free Legacy... and I really do like the layout of the program and the various forms & reports it creates--- since I print out much of my genealogy (yes, I am a paper lover!).

Eventually, Family Tree Magazine sent me a free software-- Rootsmagic. Interested, I did load it onto my computer, but I decided that it wasn't for me. So I passed it on to a "newbie" and stuck with my Legacy.

As a genealogist that did not jump right on the Ancestry bandwagon, at least for a few years-- I did not have an online tree. In fact, I only really developed a tree on Ancestry about a year ago-- when I tested my DNA. I wanted my direct pedigree at least, to match up with possible "cousins". Personally, I used my Ancestry tree as a documentation filing system... where I can link sources to my relatives. I do not add other things to my tree (photos, scans, notes, etc). Which is just my way of doing things-- partly because I had many years of genealogy done, before Ancestry came to be.

So I've never 'synced' my genealogy software with my Ancestry tree... and I do understand what a disappointment it is to not have that option in the future. [However, it does sound like Ancestry is working towards allowing other software to capabilities to do so at a later time].

Even though FTM is being slowly phased out... there are other software options out there-- and a decent amount of time to research just which one will serve your genealogy needs best.

So take a deep breath. Relax. This will be OK. Do some research & see what you like-- there are free downloads available to try & play around with. Read reviews & articles.

I found recent blog posts from The Clue Wagon & Legal Genealogist, to be informative & funny (Thanks Kerry!

If you haven't read them yet, you should (though, I suspect if you read this small time blogger, you surely follow those Superstars!)

And of course Ancestry did release a couple of posts about this decision, and that is the best source for information regarding the process as it is expected to unfold and you can read them here- Ancestry Blogs

Good Luck in your quests! Feel free to share you own reviews of software here.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mystery Photo... Minnesota or Iowa?

This mystery photo belonged to my Great-Great Aunt... so it very well could even be a relative of mine? But, I can't figure out who it could be.

It's very likely that these 2 young ladies were from Southern Minnesota or Northern Iowa... and could be connected to the George, Bruce, Averill or Burnett families.

To me, it seems that this is probably a photo from the 1930s... but I'm not the best at dating photographs. I hope someday, someone will recognize them and be able to identify them.

Monday, December 7, 2015

William Willis Cole... Grandfather From NoWhere

A number of researchers today descend from William Willis Cole... and because of this, his descendants have been quite well researched & documented... and as a descendant myself, I've done a large amount of research over the years and have connected with some fellow researchers.

William Willis Cole & Family

Much of his early life is gleamed from a rather lengthy newspaper obituary... though, like many flowery death notices from this era, some of it may not be completely accurate. .

What I do know... or claim to is...

William Willis Cole was born 1 May 1813 in Louisville, Kentucky. Though I have seen Virginia given as a location on some records. His parents, are unclear... a John Cole did sign his marriage certificate to verify his age, but that could really have been any older relative.

Marriage Record of William Cole
John Cole signed

He was married on 8 June 1839 to Susannah "Susan" Hindman (spelling of her name varies)... Susannah is a bigger mystery-- as to from whence she came and all that rot.

They do show up in the 1840 census, living Lower Sandusky, Ohio... There is a girl, aged 10-14 living in their household... I have no idea who she could be... perhaps a younger sister of one of them?

By 1850, they are living in Steuben County, Indiana, with 3 of their children. Eventually they made their way up to Hudson, Michigan... and their children included, but aren't necessarily limited to: Byron A. Cole, Anna Marie (wife of Riley Randall), Jennet (wife of John Finn & Milton Welliver), Martha (wife of Floyd Gay), and Delivan.

Sometime in the 1860s, they relocated to Minnesota... settling in what is now Kandiyohi County.

On 17 April 1889, Susan passed away at their home in New London and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. Over the coming years the Cole family branches moved and left Kandiyohi County and William would eventually live with his sons at different times. 

It was at the home of his son Delivan, that William died on 12 Nov 1902, in rural Cass County.

So who was William Cole? 

Who were his parents? 
Where did they come from?

Many questions. Few answers

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mystery Photo... Maine, Beeson, Hooser-- Minnesota

A relative sent me this photo once... hoping I'd be able to ID it for certain. I couldn't.

It comes from some descendants of Erastus Maine of Southern Minnesota. The photo ended up in the family of his older daughter-- Jessie Hooser... I think the oldest person here in the photo could very well be the youngest daughter-- Crissie Beeson.

Many of the Maine sisters strongly resembled each other... and in turn many of the nieces looked like their Aunt and Cousins. It's hard to judge for certain who any one is, unless someone else out there has the same photo that is identified.

My theory is, that this is a photo of Crissie (Maine) Beeson along with a couple of her Hooser nieces. There were a lot of girls in that family-- it could be just about anyone.

Hoping someone out there will recognize these people and help solve the mystyer.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

TBT Photos from Yesteryear-- Larrie & Esther Maine

Spotlight photos from my extensive photo archive
This week it is

Larrie & Esther (Larson) Maine

Larrie Maine is the oldest brother to my Great-Grandfather, Hiram Maine. Larrie was born on the family farm in rural Cass County, in 1896. Eventually he lived in Southern Minnesota with his family, before returning to Cass County.

After marriage, Larrie & Esther lived in North Dakota & Northern Minnesota, before farming in the Mapleton, MN area. Larrie died of a heart attack in 1977, and Esther in 1990.