dee_burris: (Default)
Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2012-11-21 08:27 am

Random musings...

I started this blog to share - photos, memories, documents, places and people - with other people.

Freely sharing was important to me because of the sharing of information I experienced in the early years of this journey when I asked for information.

On surname message boards. Hard to believe, but I still find posts of my own from 1999 on some of those boards.

Distant cousins found the blog in Google searches. I correspond with several of them still. All the other bloggers were right.

If you build it, they will come.
In the last few months, I've started getting emails that go something like this:
I am making sure that this e-mail doesn't bounce. I am researching a possible family connection in Arkansas. (That's the actual text of a message I found in my inbox this morning.)

I always reply to those, to let them know the email address is still good. Sometimes, there is a distant family connection.

Sometimes, people have seen how Arkansas-intensive my tracks are on the internet, and they just need help with their own trees.

What can I say? I'm a Scorpio, and always intrigued by a mystery.

Even when it doesn't have one of my own surnames on it.
You know how people say that they hope they don't find out they unwittingly married their own cousin?

I've always figured that somewhere downline - closer to my generation - I'd find out someone was a cousin of their spouse.

I decided last week to start looking at my nephews' and niece's families on the *other* sides of their families.

I started with my niece. Her father's surname is Rankin.

Started with her dad and went backward.

After about 3 hours, I sat here grinning like a fool.

Her dad is my 4th cousin, twice removed. The connection starts in 1877, when John James Rankin married Margaret Ann Lemley in Pope County.

Margaret Ann was the daughter of Ephraim Lemley, Jr. and Cynthia Elvira Burris.

So my niece is also my 4th cousin, three times removed.
Of course, I didn't stop with the pedigree.

I'm looking for bits and pieces of information that give the third dimension to the names, dates and places.

Turns out the Rankins (and their allied families) were quite the movers and shakers in Perry County, AR.

And some of its earliest settlers.

The Rankin family will have blog posts of its own.
rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-11-26 10:02 pm (UTC)(link)
They didn't live together until later.

This appeared in the local paper on August 22, 1905:


It leaked out yesterday that Genevieve A. Peladeau of Emeryville and John J. Brennan, a well known business man of Berkeley, have been husband and wife for nearly three years. They were married November 9, 1902, and ever since that time have kept their secret safe from relatives and friends.

The fact that the young people are first cousins was the objection urged against their proposed marriage three years ago,when they told their relatives that they were engaged. They did not listen to these objections, however, but sent for a special dispensation from the Pope, which is necessary in the Catholic Church, before cousins can marry. This obtained, they were married in St. Patrick's Church, San Francisco, by the Rev. Father Heslin. The bride then returned to her home, where she has since remained.

Their eldest was born 7 Jan 1906.

John was 30 and Genevieve 33 when they married; their mothers were Teresa and Mary McAvoy, children of Bernard McAvoy and Isabella Gallagher. John's father was James Brennan, my gg grand-uncle and an early settler in Berkeley. Genevieve's father was Guillaume Peladeau, who owned the Beaudry-Peladeau tract in Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland, Calif. Both fathers came from Canada (but different areas).

rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-11-27 09:23 am (UTC)(link)
*laughter* Well, it gets better, in a sense. Their secret marriage was much more successful for them than for John's first cousin, my great-grandfather, Ed, just over five years later. Ed and Mae only managed to keep it a secret 10 days:

San Francisco Call, 18 Jan 1908, page 7

Miss Mayme Dempsey the Bride
of Edward J. Brennan, Jr.
in San Rafael
BERKELEY, Jan.17 -- Friends of
Miss Mayme Dempsey, daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. Luke Dempsey of 1014 Dela-
ware street, have learned that since
January 7 the young woman has been
the wife of Edward J. Brennan Jr., son
of Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Brennan of
1519 Hearst avenue. The young couple,
who are living in San Francisco, where
Brennan is employed, were married in
San Rafael. The secret, which was
known to only a few of the friends of
the couple, leaked out today.

P and I eloped while he was on leave in April 94, then had a proper wedding exactly six months later at home. It was just a few months ago I learned we had kept a family tradition. *g*

And then there's the Curtis connection. Ed's father was Ed, and his mother was Josephine Curtis; they married in 1884. James and Ed Sr's other brother John arrived in Berkeley in the 1870s and married Anne Curtis in 1878. She died in 1883 of malaria. She left 3 small children, including Herbert, who was only 5 weeks old. Anne and Josephine's sister, Theresa, moved into the household care for the children. Over time she and John became close, and in 1888 they married and had 3 more children before John died in 1894.

The part about John's family that I wish I knew is why after his death his first 3 children (including Herbert, who had only known Theresa as his mother) never lived iwth her again. Only her children by birth did, at least on the censuses. That seems very sad, given they were her niece and nephews as well as her step-children.
rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-11-27 12:36 pm (UTC)(link)
No, the Brennan grandparents were up in Grey Co, Ontario, and died in 1885 (Patrick) and 1888 (Mary). And John left Theresa fairly well off, with a large, fully paid for home on Addison.

I DID just find Clara (17) and Herbert (14) living there wth Theresa in 1897 per the Husted's Guide, but James (16) wasn't there.

Then in 1900 Clara (20) is living with a Curtis aunt and her husband, James (19) is in Santa Cruz, CA, and Herbert (17) is missing.

Huh. I've just had a thought. I wonder if both boys went to St. Mary's High School. It was in Oakland then (the Brennans were in Berkeley, juts north of Oakland). That might fit; quite a few Brennan boys went to St. Mary's. It moved to Berkeley later, and then my grandparent's moved next to it in the 50s, alhtough my uncle went to a public high school instead. I should ask him why...

Time to write my cousin John (Herbert's grandson; he's a 3rd cousin once removed) to see if he has any info...

rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-11-28 07:59 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not much of a blogger :/ I get lost and distracted too easily.

One mystery I'd love to solve is the death of one of my great-grandfathers. His youngest son, a half brother to a grandfather I never met (I'm not sure my father, who I met only once, ever met his father; his parents divorced when he was an infant).

According to my great-granduncle, his father was drunk one day and drowned in a creek that ran past his property. It would have been in the early 30s.

He's not buried with his wife, who died in the teens. Duval Co, FL, has *no record* of his death.

My g-gu lost contact with all his step-siblings as a small child; his father threw him and his mother out one day when he was three.

I've searched all sorts of records in case his mother had been romancing, but so far as I could find when I had an membership, no William Hoyt born circa 1877 died in Jacksonville.

The other kids are all dead now and I haven't been able to locate their kids.

It's one of my two "most wanted" mysteries. (The other is what happened to my Brennan ggfather's twin sister. Cousin John's records did record that Ed had a twin sister, but not whether she came to the US or stayed in Canada.)

I love searching these things out! <3