Archive for April, 2011

April 29, 2011

Sudduth Cousins

Hoping all my Sudduth cousins in Tuscaloosa, Alabama are safe.

April 27, 2011

Wake up Call

Start right now. Call them, visit them, write them a letter. You know, those people in your family who are getting older. Hey, none of us are getting any younger, and this life thing, it’s progressive. So stop what you are doing and make that call to arrange that visit, or sit down and write that letter, use your best penmanship, don’t type it. And ask them, “tell me about your life when you were younger”, “how did you meet your spouse”, “tell me about your sisters/brothers”.

When I first started genealogy, when I was very young, about 4, I was given the standard advice: Start with yourself and document, document, document. Interview your older relatives and ask them about your family.
Yes, you must document. The reason is that your records are most likely to exist. This is dull as dishwater to do, but you must get the records before that courthouse burns or springs a leak in the records room, or w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r document destruction forces hit your records. But, I would say put your emphasis on interviews, which are taken from the most perishable resource.

Oh, BT-dub if you are recording, put the volume control on medium, that way you can be assured you have some sound. I have interview tapes which are difficult to hear since I did the exact opposite of what I thought I was doing.

For every birth record you collect, for every marriage license you find, interview two people. Do this until you run out of people. Here is the twist for you, do descendant research periodically in your tree. After pushing back a generation, or so, follow their descendants, even especially those who don’t directly connect to you. Then you will find some new people to interview.

After some time of doing research, I was a little older, I think about 8, I interviewed my Great Aunt Pearl. One question I frequently asked was “what was your grandparents’ names”. This is how I knew her grandmothers name was Emily Lemarr. Then life happened, and time to research, and interview got scarce. I wish now I had pursued an advanced degree in History, not Computer Science.

Here is the painful part, had I interviewed her a few years earlier, then done the follow up work, which I have recently completed, I would have found the family connections that I have now, and I could have interviewed the granddaughter of Olive Case Evans, Mae Dunn Coe. You see, she died in 1975. Admittedly, as stated in the timeline above, I was only 5, and very new to research. She was the informant on all the death certificates for her sisters and their husbands. She knew everything, even where her brothers-in-law were born and the names of their parents. Perhaps she had Joshua and Catharine Case’s family Bible. Perhaps she had all the family Bibles. I am sure you are thinking, contact her descendants and interview them. I may be completely wrong here, but I believe this line died out. You heard it, died out. Mae’s only daughter, Celeste E. Coe Kascke, died in 1981. According to census records, she and her husband had no children. I found a death certificate for a premature infant daughter born to the Mae and August Kascke, in 1925 in Missouri. I suspect there are many more of these in Colorado, where they subsequently moved.

Families are more fragile than we have been lead to believe. Interview them now.

April 14, 2011

And the dirt he popped up from, he bought in 1830

Joshua Case has been my idée fixe for some time now. He appears to have “popped up out of the dirt” in Illinois in 1830. Here’s the recap of the findings, to date.
The DNA
Thanks to a generous male who descends from Jackson Case, we know that the Case family who lived in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas belong to the same DNA group as descendants of one of the Case brothers who settled in New England in the early 1600’s and are believed to be sons of William Solomon Case of Aylesham, England. Don’t get excited, they did not arrive on the Mayflower. Some accounts have them arriving on the Dorsett. Three are fairly well known and studied, Thomas, John, and William. Thomas had no children, so he is eliminated as an ancestor. There are two other Case names in the area at the time, Richard and Henry, who may also have been brothers to these three. There is no paper or archival source of which I am acquainted which conclusively links Henry and Richard to Thomas, John and William. However, there is a descendant of a Henry Case (1637-1664) on the Case DNA list, whose DNA matches other descendants of William Solomon Case.
So, does this leave me in the same place as when I started? Not exactly. Though it seems with this family I find more about the families associated with them than about them, I am inching ahead, learning a tiny bit about them and more about the history around them. Inchworm, inchworm, you and your arithmetic will probably go far.
The Will and Probate
Joshua Case created a will before he died in September, 1833. In it, he named his wife, Catharine, and his children, Charlotte, Olive, Independence, and Andrew Jackson. From his will, we learned that he owned land and the specific tract was the W½SE¼ of Section 2, T4S, R8W. The will was witnessed by Luther Simmons and John Crozier, who were brothers-in-law of each other and of the Probate Judge, Samuel G. Thompson. Those three were connected through the Crozier family, Samuel married Mary Ann Crozier, brother of John and sister of Nancy, who married Luther Simmons.
Probate for Joshua lasted at least eleven years, the last entry on the film was in 1844. Joseph Orr was appointed guardian for Olive, Independence, and Andrew Jackson. Charlotte Case chose John C. Crozier. None of the records in the Probate book provide direct or stated information for Catharine’s maiden name. Just tantalizing possibilities, was she related to the Crozier, Simmons or Thompson families?
The Land
The land, the W½ of the SE quarter of Section 2 in Township 4S of Range 8W, of Principal Meridian 3, encompassed 80 acres. According to the bureau of land management, government land office site, this land was originally patented to the legal heirs of William Peach, deceased, in 1825. The Deed Record, Book O, page 368 for of Randolph County, Illinois, lists these heirs as William Peach and his wife Priscilla, Levi Simmons and his wife Lois, William Simmons and his wife Mary, and Charles Darrow and his wife Sally. Joshua Case paid $120 for the land.
The Conclusions
Not a lot of “move ahead” information was found for the Cases. Though thin, the information learned here was valuable. Though some say B-O-R-I-N-G, cough- my kids-cough. Joshua’s name was previously thought to be Jonathan; the will and probate proved his name was Joshua. It also proved that his wife’s name was Catharine, not Susannah as some have speculated. Although no maiden name was discovered for Catharine, directions for search are strongly suggested by the recurring associations with the Simmons, Peach, Crozier, Lindsey, Brown and Thompson families. Andrew Jackson’s first name, “Andrew”, was finally and officially confirmed as such. Until this, his name was always stated as only Jackson on every official record I had examined.
So, does this mean mean that I am in exactly the same place as when I started? Not exactly, though, with this family I often find out more about the families around them and history of where they lived than about them. But I am inching ahead. Inch worm, inch worm, you and your arithmetic you’ll probably go far.