Monday, May 31, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I have written in the past about an incredible history book about the Routsong family entitled "From Rauenzahner to Routson, A Family on the Move.", written by John Philip Dern and Marjorie Waidner. It's one of my favorite family resource books and inside it is an item that the authors reference when writing about my great grandfather, Henry Routsong. They tell about a letter that addressed to Mrs. Mettie Harrington and that at the time of the writing of their book was in the possession of his granddaughter, Harriett Routsong Nutt. There were only a couple of sentences used in the book and I longed to read the entire letter. I didn't know who in the family would have had possession of the letter by now so I just figured it was something I would never have the opportunity to see. Until one day last year.
My mother told me she had received a package in the mail from one of her cousins in response to a request we had made regarding information about her branch of the Routsong family. I could hardly wait to get the envelope and start looking over all the paperwork. At first, I was a little disappointed because most of what she had written, I already knew. But then I saw a Xeroxed copy of a typed manuscript. In the top left hand corner was written "This letter was written by my Grandfather Routsong. Harriet Routsong Nutt"
Here in my hands was a transcription of the letter, referenced by Dern and Waidner, written by my great grandfather, Henry Routsong. It was everything I had hoped it would be. It read:
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
“So live that when thy summons comes to join that innumerable throng which moves to that mysterious realm, that thou mayst be sustained by an unfaltering trust, and approach they grave like one who wraps the drapery of his covers about him and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
Such was the life lived and the departure from this world of Ella Adams, daughter of Eli and Nancy Jacks. She was born in Sabina, O, Sept. 4, 1862 and departed this life February 9, 1902, aged 39 years, 5 month, and 5 days.
During her girl life and young womanhood she was the light of the family. Her ever joyous disposition shed a halo of gladness about her and she was ever the solace and comforter of an afflicted mother.
On February 13, 1884, she was happily united in marriage to Henry Adams. To this union were born five children, two of which in infancy preceded her to the spirit world.
On March 3, 1890, under the ministration of Rev. S. S. Fleming, she was happily converted to God, and from thence lived a worthy, consistent, Christian life.
At the institution of the camp of Royal Neighbors in Sabina, she was one of its charter members. The emblems of the order, faith, modesty, courage, unselfishness, and endurance were compatible with her nature and were faithfully practiced. Her love for the order and its members was ardent, and sadly will she be missed in the council of the camp.
Just previous to her departure, she called her relatives around her and bade each an affectionate farewell, assuring them of her bright prospect of heaven and desiring all to so live as to meet her there.
She leaves father, mother, husband, children, sister, and brother to mourn the loss of a dutious daughter, as affectionate wife, a doting mother and a loving and obliging sister, and the community a valued neighbor.
The funeral was held in the M.P. Church, Wednesday forenoon, sermon by Rev. W.J. Elliott, and burial services in charge of the Royal Neighbors. Interment in the Sabina cemetery.
Also printed in the newspaper was the following resolution:
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Well, there is nothing I enjoy more than the "ancestor hunt". In the past, I have started some family trees for friends, getting them a good start and then letting them run with it. So, I told her that I would start one for her, make her an editor, and then once we found the names and information we needed, she could keep using that one or start her own. That's when the fun started!
Step one is writing down what you know. In this case, we didn't know a great deal. She is young enough that her parents and most of her grandparents fall into that "after 1930 Census" category so you really have to get creative to find information. She knew her parents names and a couple of grandparents. That is about all we had to go on, but it was a beginning, and luckily for me, the names weren't "Smith" or "Jones".
I began the family tree on Ancestry.com, listing her name as the "Home Person" and entering her parents names and birthdates. Then, I added the grandparents names that I knew. I didn't know birthdates or birthplaces or where they had lived in the country. I was just assuming they were from Ohio. I started with her grandfather Turocy. Right away, I discovered someone I thought might be him in the 1920 census, living in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. His father and his mother were listed as having been born in Czechoslavakia. I wrote to my friend, asking if her family was from the Cleveland area. She told me they were indeed. Soon, I discovered an obituary for her grandfather and the names from the census were a match with the name in the obit. So, now we had gone back another generation, with new names that my friend had never known. Investigating her great grandfather proved to be fascinating. We discovered he had immigrated to the United States in 1907.
My next step was looking into any databases that might be available for Cuyahoga County. I started with the Cleveland Public Library and I wasn't disappointed. Their list of online databases includes the Cleveland Necrology File Index. At first, I wasn't too optimistic that I would find anything right away. An index usually gives just basic information and instruction on how to obtain the actual documents. However, this index is actually a gold mine of facts. It lists the ID number of the obituary, name of the newspaper in which it appears, and microfilm roll number; all pretty standard. But, the bonus is that it lists the name of the deceased, the place, date, and time of the funeral service, and every name included in the obituary. Luckily for me, maiden names were also included. From those files, I was able to link new names to my friend's tree. Within just a couple of days, we had grown her tree by several generations on both her maternal and paternal sides. She now has some World War I and World War II draft registration and enlistment forms that contain the signatures of her great grandfathers and uncles. She knows the immigration details of most of her ancestors. The best part is, she can continue to grow her family tree, because like all trees, it is a living, always changing thing. There are always more documents, article, photographs, and cousins to find.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Engagement Portait, Age 19
Friday, May 7, 2010
In 1984, my mother bought a very small audio cassette recorder and began to hide it during our various holiday family gatherings. At the time, we all teased her about recording us as much as she was, but now, I am so thankful for those recordings. We eventually purchased a video recorder, but those audio cassettes contain many wonderful times and voices that were no longer with us by the time the video technology arrived. One of those voices belongs to my grandmother, Gladys Marling Norris. Grandma spent quite a lot of time in our home during those years and one day my brilliant mother decided to sit down with her and ask her questions about her life. It was and remains one of my greatest treasures. I have converted many of those old cassette tapes to CD's and MP3 files. In honor of Mother's Day, I would like to share a portion of one of those interviews here. So, here's to my mom and both of my grandmothers. I am who I am because of you!
Please be patient. The video takes a few minutes to load.