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It's taken almost 7 years, but I finally found the parents of my great great grandmother, Catherine Mueller.

In 1832, Georg Jacob Mueller and Eva Elisabetha Hemberle moved their family from Blankenloch, Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany to the United States. They left Bremen aboard the ship Elisabeth and disembarked at New York on 5 Sep 1832. Georg Muller paid for his ticket - he was not sponsored. His destination when he left Germany was the United States of America. Accompanying Georg and Elisabetha were daughters Christine (age 11), Catherine (age 5), Elisabeth (age 2) and son, Jakob (age 6 months).

According to this website:
...For most German emigrants going to America during these years, Bremerhaven was the major port of departure. It would become port to 7 million emigrants leaving Europe between 1832 and 1874.

The first leg of an emigrant’s journey would have been the trip to Bremen itself by train or in a coach. Some poorer emigrants had to reach Bremen by foot. Many had never even set foot out of their small villages before, and just making this step was in itself a life-changing experience. Once in Bremen, most would stay at an inn and take in the sights...

From Blankenloch north to Bremen is 566.57 km, or 352.05 miles. That trip takes 5 and a half hours by car today. I have no idea how it took Georg and Elisabetha Mueller to get to Bremen in 1832, but my guess it that at least one overnight stay at an inn or making camp would have been required.

Once in Bremen (Bremerhaven), there was a three day journey on a river barge traveling down the Weser River to board their ship.
...The new harbor of Bremerhaven received its first customer in 1830, the American schooner Draper.

When Bremerhaven first opened, passengers would have to travel for miles down the Weser River from Bremen to Bremerhaven on crowded river barges, a journey taking three days, until they were brought to the side of their large sailing ship. The final stretch to the ship could only be taken during ebb tide, when water from the arm of the Weser flowed toward the North Sea...
Sourced to the website above.

Once the ship left the harbor, it was weeks before America appeared in the immigrants' sight. The ship sailed into the North Sea and on to the English Channel, then out into the Atlantic Ocean.I don't know where the family settled after arriving in New York. I couldn't find them in the 1850 census. I do know that Catherine Mueller married a man named Bashett or Baskett before she married my great great grandfather Jacob Williams on 1 Oct 1846 in Shelby Co., KY.

I found Georg and Elisabetha Mueller in 1860 in Jackson, Monroe Co., PA. Living with them were a son William and a granddaughter Amelia (shown as Emma in the 1870 and 1880 censuses), both born in Pennsylvania. William was 17 years old, so it seems that by 1843, the family must have been living in Pennsylvania.

The 1860 census also shows that the family had Anglicized their names. Georg Jacob Mueller became George J Miller. Eva Elisabetha Hemberle was now Elizabeth Miller.

Three of Georg and Elisabetha's children did not make the journey from Baden to America. Three small sons - Jacob Friendrich Mueller, Christian Mueller, and Johann Jacob Mueller - all died before the trip. The first two died in 1824, and Johann Jacob Mueller died in 1830. All of the infants died in Baden.

It was not uncommon in the 19th century for parents to "recycle" a child's name if an older sibling died very young. In this family, Johann Jakob Mueller had the same name as his brother born four years before he was.

The youngest of Georg and Elisabetha Mueller's children was Sarah A Miller, born in Monroe County, PA., on 23 Oct 1843. She married Henry H Marvin and they had two sons. Henry died in 1868. Sarah followed him in death in 1872. Her parents raised their sons, Ira and Steward, who were 7 and 8 years old at the time of their mother's death.

Eva Elisabetha Hemberle, daughter of Georg Martin Hemberle and Christina Zorn, died on 18 Sep 1870 in Monroe County. Georg Jacob Mueller died on 7 Sep 1885. They are buried in Saint John's Cemetery, Neola, Monroe Co., PA.

And at last I have found great great grandmother Catherine C Mueller Williams' parents.

Another brick in the wall is gone.
Then, in my everlasting quest to find all of the children of my great great grandfather James Littleton Burris' other family, I doubled down on Richard Hill, since he was the last remaining child I needed to find.

And I found him. And his children. (I already knew he was married to Annie P Moore, daughter of William Newton Moore and Delila Mexico Young.)

The Hill brothers always knew they were really Burrises. I already knew that James L Hill - whom I seriously believe was named James Littleton Burris, Jr at birth - used the Burris name until he was at least 40 years old, after which he gave up, moved to Oklahoma and gave his surname as Hill.

Ervin Burris used the Burris surname all his life.

So, I said to myself, what if Richard changed his surname from Hill to Burris?

I found that by the time of the 1910 census, that's exactly what he did.

The children - six of them I have been able to document - seem to have a mix of surnames, with the oldest three using Hill and the younger three using Burris. This information is found in census records, so I haven't been able to find out yet if they continued the use of their original surnames as adults. Except for son Marion Hill, who died at the age of 19 on 19 Dec 1915 when the family was living in Fort Smith.

Richard began using Richard H (for Hill, I think) Burris on census records. His gravestone in Holdenville Cemetery, Hughes Co., OK says Richard M. Burris. Annie's says Annie P Burris.

So there, great great granddaddy. Unless the universe throws out another of your secret children, I believe I found them all.

Persistence pays off.

The journey is good.
dee_burris: (Default)
 photo jigsaw puzzle.jpg
I really enjoy appreciate use the bookmark feature in my family tree database software.

It allows me to pointedly obsess about family members who are the individual bricks in the all-too-familiar ancestral brick wall.

There they are, all splayed out in the left-hand column of my display. Of course, I can go to a different view so I don't see them.

But what's the fun in that? Part of the tortuous thrill of family history research is banging your head against those brick walls.

You know what I mean? Until it hurts so good.

Over, and over, and over.
So since he's there, and since I want so badly to be able to prove that Robert James Dunn was the younger brother of my great great grandmother Mary C. Dunn, circumstantially speaking, I already know he is.
Today, I found out where in Georgia he was born.

Just searching census records for the whole big, honking state of Georgia for Dunns is pointless.

I was actually looking at one of his daughters by Bob's second wife, Betty Dorella Wofford. (She was the 15 and a half year old daughter of Bob's neighbor, and was pregnant with their first child. But that's another story. Scroll about halfway down for the newspaper clipping.)

Florence Ella Dunn's birth certificate says her father was born in Cave Spring, GA. That's in Floyd County.
 photo Florence Ella Dunn birth certificate.jpg

So you know what I did next. Spent the next hour looking for Dunn in Floyd Co., GA in the 1850 and 1860 censuses, hoping I'd find Bob's parents.

Over the results returned, none of them fit - or else Bob, OR Mary and Martha - had been kicked to the curb as little kids.

There was even one couple living in Cave Spring, GA in the 1860 census. But they were 22 and 18 years old, no kids in the home, and too young to have been the parents of Martha, Mary and Robert Dunn.

I keep his photo close and talk to it from time to time. Because sometimes, they give me signs.

The journey is good.

**With apologies to Pink Floyd. But the lyrics to the first part are just too appropos...

And before you ask, you too can create a jigsaw puzzle from one of your family photos by clicking here.
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Immogene. Emma, she was called in a lot of documents.

And Uncle Linky's notes said she married a guy named Will Nutz, and they had one child, a daughter named Helen. The notes also said that Immogene was buried in KS, date of death missing.
So, I looked and found the record of Emma Chapin's marriage to W H Nutz (born in 1866), on 12 Mar 1889, in Ft. Scott, Bourbon Co., KS.

And I found William H Nutz, a machinist, living in Ft. Scott in the 1889 City Directory. The address for his residence was 1120 East Oak.

William H Nutz lower left column, left page

 photo 1889FtScottDirWmNutz.jpg

And I can't find anything else on them.

My city directory and census searches of Ft. Scott around, prior to, and after Emma and Will's marriage show that there were several people with the Nutz surname living in Ft. Scott for quite a while. They had to be part of Will's extended family. But as I track them, I can't find a parent or parents from among the folks of the right age.

Makes me wonder if he was orphaned early and taken in by family members. That happened a lot back then.
There is an Immogene Nutz buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Ft. Scott.

My Chapins seemed to favor that cemetery. The spelling of her first name is strikingly coincidental.

But the birth year is wrong. Immogene Chapin was born 23 May 1869, not 1860.

The FAG record was created from a cemetery transcript, or book the church ladies put together, or some other document like that.

I've requested a photo of the grave to see if there was a typo in the document used to create the record.

Add Immogene to the Chapin brick walls...
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I'm back to work on that branch of the family.

Due to some family history notes compiled by my grand uncle, Russell Ellington Balding, I have some new leads. (We always called him Uncle Linky.)

The notes were provided to me by my first cousin, once removed. Some of the information has proven to be untrue, and some has been accurate, but I have run ~ temporarily ~ into a dead end.

All of it has made me dig deeper into some useful but under-utilized resources.
From Linky's notes, I thought I might find a news article about an accident suffered by my 3rd great grandmother, Elizabeth Harris Chapin.

According to the notes, she and my great grandmother, Hattie Belle Chapin, were involved in a buggy accident when Hattie was four months old. Elizabeth was seriously injured, and those injuries led to her death.

I emailed the Old Fort Genealogical Society a couple of days ago about searching for an old news clipping.

In less than an hour, I had my answer. Elizabeth Chapin did die from injuries suffered in an accident, but not one involving a buggy. She fell down some stairs. The woman at the OFGS also said that what I previously thought was Elizabeth's date of death - 30 Oct 1887 - was actually the date of her burial. She died 4 Oct 1887.

The researcher wondered why there would be such a delay in her funeral. The only thing I could think of was getting all the family rounded up.

But that kind of delay doesn't seem likely, particularly given the limitations on preservation of bodies during that era. I'll be interested in the publication date of the news clippings - including her brief obit - when I get them in the mail.

Uncle Linky's notes also say that there was speculation that Elizabeth Harris was born Elizabeth Pancoast, and after her father died, Sally Miller married James Elisha Harris.

I do know that Elizabeth is referred to in historic documents as E H Chapin, but I will explore the Pancoast angle also.
I thought I hit pay dirt with Willard N Chapin, and in a way, I did. I started looking harder to find him after Uncle Linky's notes corroborated some unsourced information I had seen about Willard on the internet.

All of the adult men in Nathaniel Foster Chapin's family, excluding George and Ward Chapin, are listed in the 1889 City Directory for Fort Scott, KS.

According to Uncle Linky's notes, Willard Chapin b 4 May 1865 Olean N.Y. Moved with family to Kansas about 1882. m Dee ___. Buried in Calif. Date of death missing. His 4 daughters were living in San Luis Obispo, Calif. when last heard of.

I finally found a record of Willard's marriage. He married Delana L Rowland on 25 Apr 1888 in Ft. Scott, Bourbon Co., KS. She was called Dee.

I haven't found Willard in any census with his family yet. I did find Dee Chapin, the proprietress of a rooming house in San Luis Obispo, in the 1910 and 1920 censuses. She was born in Missouri on 26 Sep 1864.

The 1910 census said that Dee was the mother of six children, five of whom were living at the time of the census. I have only been able to account for four of the daughters - Helen Chapin Gardner, divorced and living with her mother in 1920; Icy Chapin Justus, married to Felix Orlando Justus and the mother of four sons; Rosetta Chapin Baxter; and Margaret Chapin.

Icy Chapin died on 1 Mar 1959 in Santa Clara Co., CA. Rosetta Chapin died on 9 Aug 1980 in San Joaquin Co., CA.

Dee Chapin died on 19 Aug 1921 in San Luis Obispo, CA, and is buried in San Luis Cemetery, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo Co., CA.

I still don't know when or where Willard died, or where he is buried. He's going to be another brick in the wall for me.

But I'm getting closer...
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One of my brick walls.

Not only mine. A whole bunch of us would be ever so pleased to find out the identities of William's parents and sibs.

In my GEDCOM, I say he was born in North Carolina. From a written family history of one of his grandsons in 1937, we learned that William was an indentured servant in his youth, brought to Lawrence County, TN by the man who held his papers, and lost track of his birth family. The same grandson repeated what the rest of most of William's descendants have heard in our family lore - that William's family was Scotch-Irish.

William married and had a huge family in Lawrence County, including my g-g-grandfather, James Littleton Burris.

Because so little is known about William's origins, I made a semi-educated guess that he came from North Carolina.

This morning, I was reading through History of Tennessee (Goodspeed Publishing, 1886, ebook edition publ. 2010) again and on page 750, found additional evidence that William probably emigrated to Lawrence Co., TN from North Carolina with his employer. The settlers came chiefly from North Carolina...

Following that sentence was a list one and a half pages long of the names of heads of North Carolina families who settled Lawrence County before the year 1818.

And I'm guessing that William's employer's name may be on that list, but I haven't a clue who he was...
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For the longest time, I thought perhaps William Tuttle Parrish was a brother to my great-great grandmother, Eada Belle Parrish, but I could not connect the dots.

According to the 1900 census of Lake, Vernon Co., MO, William T Parrish was born in June 1850 in Kentucky. I also found him in the 1880 census, just five years or so after he married Sarah Hamlet Bridgewater on New Year's Eve in 1874 in Vernon County.

But I couldn't go back any farther with him, and certainly did not find him in the home of Eada's parents, Benjamin Abraham Yeager Parrish and Minerva Ann Hamilton, both of whom were also born in Kentucky, as were Abraham's parents.

When I received an email contact from a Parrish researcher, who was descended from the father of Sarah Hamlet Bridgewater, I made another stab at trying to identify the parents of William T Parrish, and also to find his date of death, which I have placed between 1900 and 1910 in Vernon Co., MO.

I couldn't find a death record on him at the Missouri SOS State Archive, but I did find out what his middle name was.

From his the death certificate of his daughter, Cinderella H E Parrish Walker, who died on 1 Jul 1930 in Vernon County.

Tuttle. He was William Tuttle Parrish.

And that led me to a set of possible parents - William Allen Parrish (1819-1883, Clark Co., KY) and Katherine Tuttle (1819-1908, Clark Co., KY).

They had an infant son, William, in the 1850 census, and also in their home in the 1860 and 1870 censuses. Their William was not in their home in 1880.
So now, it's on to contact some of the William Allen Parrish family researchers to see if we may have a match.

None of them have information about William Parrish after he left his parental home.
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My direct line of Chapins was a curious bunch.

Of the 10 children born to my 3rd great grandparents, Nathaniel Foster Chapin and Elizabeth Harris, very few seemed to be content to get to one place and stay there.

Willard N Chapin, sixth in the line-up, was no exception to the bunch of his siblings with wanderlust.

The last time I can find him in a census where I know it's really him was the 1885 Kansas State census, and he was living with his mom and dad in Fort Scott, KS. He was 20 years old.

He followed in his father's footsteps and made his living with wood, as a carpenter.

I can document him living in Fort Scott through the printing of the 1889/1890 Hoyes City Directory for the city. Willard was living at 401 Coates Street, and was employed as a carpenter.

Then, I lose him for 20 long years, until he turned up in the list of registered voters for San Luis Obispo Co., CA in 1910.

San Luis Obispo County, 1910

From where ever he lived in southern California, it was on to Sacramento County, where he was registered as a Socialist among voters on the list from 1912-1914.

Sacramento County, 1912-1914

The next list was from Butte County for the years 1916-1930, which is quite a spread and doesn't help me figure when he was really there. I see he changed his party affiliation to Democrat.

The most problematic of the lists is the one from Nevada County, because it covers the years from 1900-1928.

I don't have a date of death for him, although he does not appear in Ancestry's California Death Index from 1940-1997. He either did not die in California, or he didn't make it to 1940. I wouldn't be surprised if the latter were true, because carpentry is a hard way to make a living as you get on in years.

Of course, it doesn't help that Willard was literally all over the map.

I guess, at least for now, Willard is just another brick in the wall...
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Spent some time this morning on email and phone with another Burris researcher, one who manages the Burris DNA project.

We are both stuck in the same generation, and know because of the DNA results that we are related - but through whom?

Most likely the parents of men who were born in the last quarter of the who left their birthplace and wound up the extreme western counties of Tennessee before moving on to Missouri and Arkansas.

I'm confident there will be a break. DNA testing for genealogy purposes is gaining widespread acceptance.

Now, I just have to get my son ready (and willing) to carry the torch in case the break comes after I'm gone...
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The first husband of Essie Chapin became very easy to track once I threw enough wildcards into the spelling of his surname.

A delayed birth certificate provided to me by a new-found Chapin cousin said that Frank Shephard was born in Fairfield, Jefferson Co., IA in 1871. As I tracked Frank through both US and Iowa censuses, I found that the year of birth on the certificate was correct, and the county, almost.

Frank was actually born in Henry Co., IA in September 1871 to Lewis W Shephard and Martha E Cox. He had at least two younger siblings and may have had older ones I have not yet found. His father, Lewis, was born in March 1840, also in Henry Co., IA, and his mother, Martha, was born in April 1842 in Ohio.

Frank left tracks. I found him in the 1885 Iowa census, living in New London, Henry County, IA, with his parents and two younger brothers, Lloyd Lewis and Isaac Hugh. (Later records show that Isaac Hugh chose to be called Hugh, which may help to understand why on some documents Frank was alternately shown as G Franklin, G F, F G, and just "Frank.")

I found the record of his marriage to Essie Chapin on 15 Oct 1889 in Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., KS.

The 1889/1890 Hoyes Directory for the City of Fort Scott had a listing for "Shepherd, G Frank," employed at Goodlander Furniture, with a residence address of 1244 E Wall.

The 1895 Iowa census showed Frank Shephard living in Fairfield (Second Ward), Jefferson Co., IA. There were no images on Ancestry for the census page, but both of Frank's parents were also individually enumerated in the same location.

The 1900 U S Census showed Frank living with his parents and brothers Lloyd and Hugh, in Fairfield, Jefferson Co., IA. His marital status was divorced, so he and Essie must have divorced by 1900.

On 17 February 1904, George Franklin Shephard married Viola Mae Hobart in Henry Co., IA.

By 1910, Frank was living in Canaan, Henry Co., IA, with his wife, Viola. The census image showed this was the second marriage for Frank, and first for Viola.

By 1915, the Iowa census found Frank and Viola in Mount Union, Henry Co., IA. In the 1920 U S Census, they were still in Henry County, but the town was shown as Canaan. Since the 1925 Iowa census said Mount Union, Henry County, I saw a pattern emerging - the federal censuses (of 1910 and 1920) called the town Canaan, and the Iowa censuses of 1915 and 1925 called it Mount Union. I think this may be a difference in town and township, but not actual location.

The 1925 Iowa census contained a wealth of information - it listed the names and birthplaces of both sets of parents, including mothers' maiden names.

The 1930 census showed 59 year old Frank and 50 year old Viola Shephard living in Canaan, Henry Co., IA.

Now I just need to find some Henry County cemetery information...I'd be real surprised if they did not live out the remainder of their lives there.

Another synchronicity...Frank's father was a cabinet maker. Various censuses gave Frank's occupation as a house painter. Essie Chapin's father was a carpenter and woodworker.

Wonder if Nathaniel Chapin introduced his daughter to her first husband?
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I found Mary Emily Conner's parents and siblings.

This was a seven year brick wall. And as so often happens, I had to go back and look at records I already had.

The 1900 Russellville, Pope Co., AR.

Mary was a 62 year old widow. Her son and daughter were married and lived with their families in Pope Co. In that census, her 22 year old nephew, Curtis Conner, lived with her.

Only the enumerator had listed him as Conner Curtis, and for seven years, I just blew by that.

So it was on to discover who Curtis' father was, because he had to be Mary's brother.

And he was.

I found a lone family tree at Ancestry that was heavily sourced with lots of details about James Alfred Conner, Mary's older brother. Mary was in the tree, but the tree's owner didn't know anything about her, or many of the other siblings.

There's a photograph of their mother on that tree, in addition to lots of information about James Conner. James served in the Civil War, and I just spent about an hour on Footnote, reviewing muster roll and other military records on him. When he enlisted at Sardis, MS, he was enrolled by Capt. Jefferson John Meek, Mary's father-in-law.

I've contacted the owner of the tree, and offered the information, including photos that I have of Mary.

I just love it when this happens.
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We talk about brick walls. All of us.

But the more I think about it, my family tree is more like a lacy willow with the occasional errant limb that just kind of sticks out.

I can see behind many of the spaces. But not all of them.

The ones I can't see behind are bricks in the wall - solid and seemingly immovable.

I haven't really counted, but I think we are running about even on the genders of the bricks.

One of those bricks is Elizabeth McCarley. She was my 3X grandmother.

Maybe I'm grasping at straws, but what follows is my theory about the possibility of Elizabeth's parentage and siblings.

I've always known there must have been a familial connection between Elizabeth and Moses McCarley. They both died in Pope Co., AR, and both are buried in the small (and now abandoned) McCarley Family Cemetery, not far from where my father lives in Pope Co., AR. I've often thought they must be siblings.

According to census records, Moses was born in 1792 in South Carolina. Elizabeth was born in 1799 in Tennessee. She came with her husband, Andrew Sawyer Ashmore, to Pope Co. from Lawrence Co., TN in 1838. A large, ox drawn wagon party of quite a few families made the trip. Elizabeth and Andrew's daughter, Elizabeth Adeline Ashmore was my g-g-grandmother, and married her husband, James Littleton Burris in November 1840 in Pope Co., after all families had settled. She was 17 years old.

Moses and his wife, Elizabeth P Griffin, also made that journey. They added three daughters to their family in Pope County - Mary, Martha and Minerva - before Elizabeth Griffin McCarley died in 1847. She is also buried in the McCarley Family Cemetery.

There are family trees that document Moses as the son of Samuel and Ally McCarley. They give the date of Samuel's birth as 1775 in Georgia and say that his date of death was 6 Jun 1838 in Harris County, TX. Some of those trees also show a younger brother for Moses, John, born 1797 in South Carolina, and died 1850 in Tennessee.

However, there are other family trees for Samuel McCarley b 1775 in Georgia, (and plenty of message board posts) that say he had one wife, with whom he had 11 children. Further, there is documentation that Samuel McCarley and his wife, Celia Franks (date of marriage ranges from 1818 to 1823) were pioneer settlers of Austin TX.

However, it seems to me that given the period of time, it was unusual to see a man marry for the first time at the age of 43, the youngest age that Samuel McCarley could have been if his marriage to Celia Franks was his first.

So it seems at least possible to me that Samuel McCarley, b 1775 in GA and died 1838 in TX, had a first wife. She may have been the "Ally" I keep finding in other family trees. Given the apparent familial connection between Moses and Elizabeth, I'm putting forth the hypothesis that Samuel and Ally McCarley were the parents of (at least) Moses b 1792, John b 1797 and Elizabeth born 1799. After Ally's death, Samuel remarried to Celia Franks and had 11 children with her.

Moses and Elizabeth "went west" to Pope Co., AR with their families in a large wagon party in 1838, and brother John stayed behind in Tennessee.

If anyone has constructive thoughts, I welcome them.

I am happy to look at any documentation - Tennessee census and land records were deliberately burned in the War of 1812, so the earliest you can get at all on Tennessee of that sort of record begins in 1818 (registered voters)...I've been hunting for documentation of the Moses/Elizabeth connection since 2003.


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Dee Burris Blakley

August 2017

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