Showing posts with label Vaughan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vaughan. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Auntie Alice Is My New BFF

I love being the recipient of clues from my ancestors. I mean, sometimes, it's like they left them on purpose. Like they were actually writing to me.

But? My 2nd great grandfather's younger sister, Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parson's notes weren't really meant for me. {Okay. Maybe they were. You don't know. ;) }And it appears that she was probably addressing one of Daniel's and Annie's children. And I'm gonna guess that it was my 1st great grandmother, my Boo {also named Alice} because she ends up with these photos {but it could have been one of their other children and somehow my Boo ended up with them}.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, there is writing on the photos that is different than Alice's, and because of a note that was with these photos, it's pretty clear that it was Daniel and Annie's daughter, Alice Florence (Vaughan) Truitt {the aforementioned "my Boo"}, who had been trying to identify the photos for her son {my Uncle} to whom she was giving the photos.

So, both these wonderful ladies named Alice wrote on the photos helping to identify the people in the photos to whom they were giving the photos. Makes sense.

But? The first Alice is the one who gives the most clues. And my Boo {second Alice} gets confused on the identification of one of the photos. I would imagine she was quite elderly when she passed these photos on to my Uncle, and her memory might have been a bit less than perfect. Anywho, I'm over the moon they decided to identify everyone.

So, what are the clues the first Alice left?

Remember how I said that I'd been unable to find Daniel's sister, Alice, between 1850 and 1872? Daniel and Prudence had been taken into families after Susanna's death, but I'd been unable to figure out what had happened to their younger sister, Alice. Well, Alice, herself, left me a clue. Maybe. {I love how these dead folk toy with me. They are definitely the cat, and I am gleefully their mouse being batted around.}

Sarah Ann Cordelia (Vaughan) Allison
Sarah Ann Cordelia (Vaughan) Allison, a.k.a., Auntie Sarah

Sarah Ann Cordelia (Vaughan) Allison
Back of Sarah's photo.

First? I love the fact that Alice called her aunt, "Auntie." That is too cute. But? Aunt or "Auntie" Sarah's middle name wasn't Allison. Now, Benjamin's father, John T., and his mother, Prudence {Brown} had had 5 kids up in Canada and then his dad and his stepmother {Hester Hawkins} had had 5 maybe 6 kiddos, both in Canada and in Michigan. I say "maybe 6" because it's totally possible that little Rachel Roselia Vaughan may not be Benjamin's and Susanna's, but John's and Hester's {or even another Vaughan's child there in Ypsilanti}. I mean, anything is possible. And more than a few died as children. Out of the living siblings -- both full and half -- Benjamin only had one sister named Sarah. So I quickly had a look-see on and found that his sister, Sarah Ann Cordelia, married...

...wait for it...

...a William Allison, which explains definitively, I think, who Alice called "Auntie Sarah." Alice states that, " they looked when I first met them after my coming from Yo[u]rk state, Rochester..."

Oh, Alice, you're beginning to be my BFF. Now, she could be referring to a trip of a shorter duration that she took, but it's also ENTIRELY possible that she's talking about where she had been in her younger years. I mean, Ypsilanti is a wee town then and now. If she had grown up near there, it's likely that she would have already known what her family members looked like. Possibly. 

On Alice's own photo {below} she states the photo was taken when she was 18 years old in Ypsilanti. Also, who makes up the "they" on Auntie Sarah's photo? Could she mean these set of photos together below? I dunno. But IF so {and that's a big IF}, then is she saying she'd never met her father?!? Something to mull over {Read: Obsess over.}, for sure. 

What is also interesting is that Alice's mother, Susanna, and Susanna's siblings were supposedly born in New York. And while Susanna's father, Mr. Rook, likes to play hide-n-seek too, her mother, Margaret Barbara (Stuck) Rook and the Stuck family had lived in Seneca, County, New York for a while before going to Michigan. So. Curiouser and curiouser. {Yeah, I went there.}

BTW, the Stuck/Stock line is the Patriot line that I'll be using for my DAR application. Technically, all the proving is done as far as DAR is concerned from the proven Patriot down to Margaret's father. I just need to provide evidence her father was that man, Michael Stuck. {Luckily, her death record says he is, but what else could I find to support that?} But? Because Susanna and her siblings were born in New York and Mr. Rook and Margaret Barbara were their parents, I have to dig around in New York anyways for their marriage and his identity. And I find it more than interesting that Alice Barbara may have lived and been raised near {couple of counties away} where her maternal grandparent's family had lived and in the same state her mother was born. At the very least, according to Alice, she had been there. And that's a very nice clue, Alice. *high-five* {Ah, hell. That's a *double high five*. Put them both up there, Alice.}

Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parsons at 18yo
Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parsons

Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parsons at 18yo
Back of Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parson's Photo

SO Alice is 18 years old when this photo was taken in Ypsilanti, Michigan. And at the top my Boo identified this photo and my uncle's relationship to her as Alice being his 2nd great Aunt Alice. {Me? I would've called her "Auntie." ;) }
Benjamin Brown Vaughan, some time after 1852
Benjamin Brown Vaughan

Benjamin Brown Vaughan, some time after 1852
Back of Benjamin's photo.
Well, the handwriting on the top is my Boo's, the second Alice. She identifies him to my Uncle as his "great great grandfather." The first Alice, Daniel's sister indicates that Benjamin is her and Daniel's father, and here's the clue. She infers that this photo of him was "Some years after our mother died." She also points out that Benjamin is "Aunt Sarah['s] Brother."

So Alice is saying this photo of Benjamin was taken after their mother, Susanna, died.

Well, knock me over with a feather. If this is correct {Don't look at me like that. Alice lived to be 94. No telling when she wrote this and if her recollections were correct. And I'm pretty sure both Alices will give me a stern talking-to in the After Life about how I dared to question them, but, really, who cares by then? :P }, then Benjamin WAS alive when their mother died in 1852.

Not that I needed any more reason to keep looking for Benjamin, because I didn't. I have a list of records to order and search in -- like probate, orphan, land, newspapers, etc. I'm also waiting on Daniel's Civil War pension record.

But, it's nice to have this clue. If correct, then where was Benjamin and why was he not raising his own children? Not uncommon, but still. And when and where did he die? I want the latter question answered for me and my DAR {Daughters of the American Revolution} and UEL {United Empire Loyalist} applications. The former? I need to know that answer with every fiber of my being.

I'm passionate {Read: tenacious.} like that.

And then I'll be checking Rochester, New York, for the young Alice Barbara Vaughan. I don't necessarily need the knowledge for any applications. Unless, of course, she was living with a -- *clears throat* -- Rook family. {Could I get that lucky?} But her early life is a rabbit hole I can't help but dive into. {Yeah, I went there. Again.} I mean, she went to all that trouble of leaving me the clue. The least I could do is follow up on it, eh? Besides, I might find more family members. And you know what they're gonna have, don't you?

That's right. Family stories. Duh.

Many, many thanks to my first cousins who found me on Facebook and shared these photos with me. Together and with my other second cousins who have found me via my blog, we're pulling this story together one puzzle piece at a time. It takes a village to write a family history.


Friday, August 23, 2013

The Big Vaughan Family Surprise

So. Benjamin Brown Vaughan likes to play hide-n-seek. That's fine 'cause I do too. Bring it, Benji.

And we now know what ultimately happened to Susanna. Sorta. Well, we know the result, just not the details.

And we know all sorts of things about Benjamin's father's life at church, specifically St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

And we have a hunch that Benjamin and Susanna had had a 4th child. {Definitely need more evidence about that, though.}

To be perfectly clear about the church records that I consulted {Read: Pored over with intense delight.}, I did look at and record much more than what I mentioned in my post yesterday. I condensed it down in to a more readable story-like format.

But I also wanted to explain a little more about the Parish Register and how it was organized because I think that it contributes to the story. Now, this Parish Register was a pre-printed book that came with pre-printed instructions on how to fill-out and use the book for the parish. This is integral for understanding how to read the book now in 2013. It has marks in columns throughout the book and the key for those is in the front with the instructions. So please don't think I skippity-do-dahed my way through the microfilm in search of surnames and dates. I did not. I read it and understood exactly what all the marks meant. It also helps that other than the first 3 years of my life when I was Catholic, I've been an Episcopalian. Can't say I'm a "lifer" but I'm close. And being so, made reading the church history compiled and written at the beginning of the Parish Register all the more interesting because it didn't gloss over the difficulties and politics of the Parish.

After the instructions and the history in the Parish Register, are some smaller lists like founders, pewholders, tithers, and the like. Then the larger listing of records begins with sections titled Families, Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, and Burials. The book then ends with an index.

The Vaughan family, as a whole or so I thought, shows up on page 20 indicating when the family was received into the church and also indicating whether each had been received, baptized, confirmed, died, and whether or not they were a communicant in good standing. {All important but especially that last one for being a member on the vestry. I know because my Dad was always on the Vestry, and even my husband has been on one in an Episcopalian Church.} Presumably and usually all the family members would be listed here with their family.

However, as I mentioned yesterday, I still looked for an Index for all these sections, which seemed like a good idea to do before flipping through all the pages in each section looking for Vaughan family members {and allied family members}. To my surprise, I found Susanna, Prudence, Daniel, Alice, and Rachel all listed in the index. Then when I looked them up under burials and baptisms and saw the dates for the events, that's when I quickly timelined the events and concluded that this kind of indicates a "rush job" of sorts. They weren't ever listed in the front under the family. If Benjamin and Susanna had worshiped there, they would have had a Family Entry either with his father {doubtful} or as a separate family {more likely because he was an adult then}.

And IF Benjamin and Susanna worshiped elsewhere {Which Susanna's burial entry, if correct, indicates she had been baptized, confirmed, and a communicant in good standing but, obviously, I'm doubting it was at St. Luke's.}, then that would explain why they aren't here but she has had the appropriate events marked on her burial entry. But? If they had worshiped elsewhere, why weren't their children already baptized? Why did their grandparents need to get that done? And if they worshiped elsewhere, it wasn't Episcopalian because this is the only Episcopal church around for a ways. And the fact that the 3 older kiddos were baptized in a private ceremony as opposed to physically at St. Luke's is remarkable as well. However, the baby, Rachel, is physically baptized at St. Luke's 3 days before her burial.

Also, page 20 where the Family is listed {or, at least, it all should be listed} is microfilmed twice. Why? Because there was a note in the book. SO the fantabulous microfilmers decided to INCLUDE the note. And the note pertains to the Vaughan family. {I obviously have pleased the genealogy gods and goddesses.}

And that's when I realized that Rachel DOES appear in the family listing. It's just under the name Roselia Vaughan and a birth month and birth year with the birth year being wrong, or so I think -- April 1850. However, on the note it indicates Rachel Roselia was born April 1851, which matches her age at death recorded in her burial entry. {And why didn't anyone know her DAY of birth?} Plus? Alice was born in March of 1850 so I think {and I could be wrong} that when they were copying the information from the note to the book, they had an oopsy.

Now, Prudence, Daniel, and Alice are listed on here as well with their birthdates {Daniel's off by a year, I think. Or maybe everything else I have is wrong.} as well as the whole Vaughan family's info. SO this tells me this "note" was written on in at least 2 different time periods -- 1840 when John T. Vaughan and his family is received into the church as well as in 1851-1852 when the 4 kiddos are baptized and when Susanna and Rachel are buried. Even John T's marriage date to his 2nd wife Hester up in Canada is written here and NOWHERE ELSE in this book. {Jealous, much?}

And why for goodness' sakes is this the ONLY note microfilmed? {Notice I didn't say it's the only one in the book because I don't know that, now do I?} I dunno. But? I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. Duh.

And while Benjamin is listed on this note with all his siblings and his mother, Prudence (Brown) Vaughan {John T.'s first wife who died up in Canada} and he appears in the Family section with them as well, he's nowhere else in this book. I know because I looked at and read all these handwritten records.

Dude is just missing as far as St. Luke's Church is concerned. {Really would love to read the Vestry Meeting Minutes for these time periods. Perhaps a special circumstance would have needed to have been voted and/or decided upon by the vestry.} Further, Benjamin and Susanna are in with their 3 oldest children in Ypsilanti in the 1850 census. Benjamin doesn't have an occupation listed but he does, supposedly, own $300 worth of real estate. And then in 1860, Daniel is living with Susanna's mother {Margaret Barbara Rook} and Susanna's 2 sisters and a brother; Prudence is living with a family across the border in Ohio about 18 miles from her father's brother and his family; and Alice is nowhere to be found in Michigan and Ohio. But, interestingly, Alice is NOT living with her grandparents, John T. and Hester Vaughan there in Ypsilanti. Nor is she living with Susanna's older brother Daniel Rook and his family there in Ypsilanti. Alice is later found married and with children, but her early life and upbringing are a mystery to me.

So my thoughts on Benjamin is that something had happened to him. He's the last of the "them" that needs to be found. I kinda was thinking he, perhaps, had died.

Until some cousins of mine {1st cousins} found me on Facebook and said they thought their dad {my Uncle} had had some pics of Daniel in his Civil War uniform. SO they found the flash drive with the scanned old pics and? Not only did they have Daniel in his Civil War uniform, but they had pics of Alice {Daniel's younger sister} and some other folks. And? Alice had written on the backs of these photos which had been scanned as well.

And one of those "other" folks? Benjamin. That's right. Benjamin Brown Vaughan. SURPRISE!
Benjamin Brown Vaughan

Daniel Rook Vaughan

Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parsons

So, there you go. Benjamin is finally revealed. Just not the details I was looking for. But? Again, with a gift horse, it's best not to look in the mouth, eh?

The best part is that Alice wrote on the back of these photos and left me more research clues about herself, her aunt, and even one about her father, Benjamin. But? I'll explain all that in the next blog post. {I'm evil like that.}


Note: Sources available upon request because if you think we're related, then contact me at cmpointer [@] gmail [dot] com and we'll figure it out together.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lost and Found, Hide-n-Seek in Ypsilanti

English: The back of Starkweather Chapel, an e...
English: The back of Starkweather Chapel, an example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, in Ypsilanti, Michigan's Highland Cemetery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In my last blog post, What Happened to "Them"? on this ongoing Daughters of the American Revolution - United Empire Loyalists saga, I revealed my Vaughan family's possible ties to St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ypsilanti as well as my hopefulness at finding "them," which are my 3rd great grandparents, Benjamin Brown and Susanna (Rook) Vaughan.

I was also hoping that tucked inside that white microfilm box would be confirmation of Benjamin's father's ties to St. Luke's. Had John Towner Vaughan and his family been members there?

And I was also hoping to find some more evidence of Daniel's birth and something about his life before he volunteered for the 1st Infantry Regiment when Lincoln first called up the Union troops at the beginning of the Civil War.

Too much to ask from a little white box?


But one thing I've learned in life is you don't get it if you don't ask for it.

And in genealogy I've found you don't get answers until you start asking questions and looking for the answers.

And in family history you don't get the story until you start writing it.

And, boy howdy, I was quite pleased with the answers that were jam-packed inside that little white microfilm box. {Opening that box was better than opening a box from Amazon.}

According to St. Luke's Parish Register, John T. Vaughan and his family had, indeed, been members at St. Luke's. I'd imagine when the Anglican John T. and his second wife Hester settled in Ypsilanti, joining the newly formed St. Luke's Episcopal Church seemed like the thing to do.

According to the well-kept records, here's what I also learned about the Vaughan family:

  • John T. Vaughan was listed as a pewholder in 1840 at St. Luke's.
  • John T. Vaughan had been baptized and confirmed at some point in his life in the Episcopal/Anglican church and that he had been received into and a communicant in good standing at St. Luke's.
  • John T. Vaughan had been on the vestry {the elective governing body of an Episcopal parish} at St. Luke's.
  • John T. Vaughan had died 21 Jul 1865 of "malignant erysipelas" {skin infection} and was buried in Highland Cemetery 22 Jul 1865.
  • Benjamin Brown Vaughan had been received into the St. Luke's parish, but beyond that had not participated at St. Luke's at all. He had not married Susanna there nor did it look like they were members there.
Now, I knew they'd probably come to Ypsilanti between 1840 and 1850 because the 1850 census is the first one they appear in America. The records go on to confirm all of John's family with his first wife Prudence {Brown} Vaughan {She passed away in Quebec and John remarried there. At least, that's what I've determined.} and the children he had with both wives in Canada and in Ypsilanti, Michigan. And, right there, in really clear handwriting is John's son, my 3rd great grandfather, Benjamin Vaughan.

This parish register entry for the Vaughan family is priceless because it pulls together the whole family and lists who was dead {at the time the family was received into the parish}, who had been baptized, who had been confirmed, and who had been married.

So, it was a bit disheartening to find that Benjamin and Susanna were seemingly not members of the same church as Benjamin's father. However, I learned bunches about John's life in the church, and the information was definitely needed for my application for United Empire Loyalist membership.

Then I "skipped" in the microfilm to the back of the Parish Register Book to look for an index before combing through all the baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials, which are in chronological order by event. 'Cause duh. I'm lazy like that.

And? I wanted to verify there were no other Vaughans in the parish and that there was really no trace of Benjamin and his family, especially Benjamin's son, Daniel Rook Vaughan. I mean, I really need his information for my DAR and UEL applications.


Found: Good News!
They were the only Vaughan family in the St. Luke's Parish through 1893.

Found: More Good News!
There was a Dan'l R, an Alice B., and a Prudence B. listed in the index with their baptismal registry number.

Found: Good & Bad News!
There was a Mrs. Susanna Vaughan listed with her burial registry number.

Well, I knew something bad had happened to Susanna. I've written about it before. It's just not always a thrill to find out you're right about some things.

I quickly jumped back in the microfilm to the burials section to look for the details of Susanna's burial. And there, on page 314, is listed Susanna as having been buried 12 Jan 1852 in Ypsilanti at the tender age of 26. No cause of death and no date of death were listed. However, she is listed as having been baptized, confirmed, and a communicant at the time of her burial. {Really? Which church?}

According to the date, that means she left behind a 5-year-old Prudence, a 4-year-old Daniel {my 2nd great grandfather}, and an almost-2-year-old Alice. {Big sigh.}

Found: Good & Bad News!
But then listed right underneath Mrs. Susanna Vaughan's burial register entry was an entry for an 11-month old Rachel Roselia Vaughan who had been buried 24 Mar 1852 in Ypsilanti. And, again, no cause of death or date of death was listed.}

Just who was Rachel Roselia Vaughan? Had she been a younger and until-now-unknown-to-me sibling of Daniel's? And if so, then the "them" who had been lost between 1850 and 1860 had really been 3 and not 2.

With a heavy heart, I quickly looked up Prudence's, Daniel's, and Alice's baptismal entries for my records and society applications. {Oh yeah. The societies. That's why I was here in the first place. *snort*} And then I found some more surprises. The 3 children had been baptized in a private ceremony under their full names -- Prudence Brown Vaughan, Daniel Rook Vaughan, and Alice Barbary Vaughan -- in a private ceremony all on the same day, 30 Aug 1851. And because the mythical genealogy gods and goddesses didn't want to make anything too easy for me, their grandparents -- John T. and Hester Vaughan -- are listed as their parents and Daniel's birth year is different by 1 year from what I know it to be based on other pieces of evidence.

But, then, listed right underneath their baptismal entries is a baptismal entry for Rachel Roselia Vaughan who was baptized 21 Mar 1852 at St. Luke's, which was just 3 days before her burial.

So. What's the story? Well, I dunno for sure, but it seems that Susanna became incapacitated in some way and, by the end of August in 1851, was unable to take care of her children. It doesn't seem that Benjamin, Susanna, and their kiddos had been members of St. Luke's either. At least, not at first.

So, it seems that Benjamin's father and step-mother -- John and Hester -- came in and took their grandchildren in order to care for them and by the end of August in 1851, they had Prudence, Daniel, and Alice baptized at St. Luke's in Ypsilanti. And then almost 7 months later, they had Rachel Roselia baptized there as well 3 days before her burial.

Good for me, paper-trail-wise. Sorta.

But? I wonder how Susanna had been incapacitated? Illness? Postpartum depression? Accident?

And what about the baby, Rachel Roselia? I'm definitely assuming that she is Benjamin's and Susanna's baby. But I could be wrong about that. Regardless, why did she die? Illness? Birth defect?

And? Forget Waldo. Where in the world is Benjamin in all this upheaval and crisis? Hurt? Ill? Working elsewhere?

So. Some losses and finds in Ypsilanti. And one is still playing hide-n-seek.

And? O Susanna, how I cried for you.

And your babies. For just when I found you and Rachel Roselia, I lost you both. And so did your family.

{Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow and the Vaughan Family Surprise -- some things found and shared with me because of what I wrote. Will Benjamin be revealed?}


Note: Sources available upon request because if you think we're related, then contact me at cmpointer [@] gmail [dot] com and we'll figure it out together.
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What happened to "them"?

English: View into Depot Town in Ypsilanti, MI...
English: View into Depot Town in Ypsilanti, MI, from the Cross St bridge over the Huron River, looking down Cross Street to the River St intersection and beyond. This was taken in October 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I knew something had happened to them. At first I thought the "them" was made up of three, then after finding the youngest of the "them" alive and well as a married adult, I sighed with relief.

Only 2 of "them" missing.

I've written about the name "Alice" being used in my family before. My Gran and her mother, my "Boo", were both named Alice, and I have some cousins named Alice as well. So when I traced back Boo's father, Daniel Rook Vaughan, to the 1850 census and found him with his parents, Benjamin Brown & Susanna Vaughan, and his 2 sisters, Prudence and Alice, I thought to myself, "Huh. So this is the Alice whom everyone is named after." {The Alice who my daughter wishes I had named her after.} {And Vyla's -- one of my Boo's younger sisters -- middle name is Prudence.}

By the 1860 census, part of the family seems to fall off the grid. Daniel is living with his grandmother, Margaret Barbara Rook, a couple of aunts, and an uncle there in Ypsilanti. His older sister Prudence is living across the border in Ohio with a family that seemingly has no connection to her {I've looked. But don't you go look because I'm not done trying to figure it out. I'm stubborn like that.}, but she's about 18 miles from her uncle, her father's brother -- Harmon Vaughan.

No Benjamin. No Susanna. No Alice.

Or so I thought. I did some census voodoo and traced all of the people named Alice I could find born in Michigan in about March of 1850 with a mother born in New York and a father born in Canada. {On the 1850 census, they list her age in months.} And I found one who seemed to move around a bit because she was married to a preacher -- an aptly named man by the name of Almond Parsons --  who must have traveled a circuit of some kind in lower Michigan where Ypsilanti is located. After skippity-doo-dahing across southern Michigan, they settle in Kalamazoo, Michigan {which is almost as fun to say as Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan where Alice was born}. Finally, she is found in the 1940 census living with her daughter Nellie and family at the age of 90, and Alice Barbara Parsons passes away 4 years later in 1944. I did discover her and the Reverend's other child as well, but I'll save that story for another day. {I'm evil like that.}

So I found Alice. {Of course, that begs the question, "Who was this Alice named after?" A relative, a friend, a pet cat? I'll keep my suspicions to myself for now.}

But what happened to Benjamin Brown & Susanna (Rook) Vaughan -- Prudence's, Daniel's, and Alice's parents? I consulted The History of Ypsilanti by Harvey C. Colburn at The Clayton {Amy Coffin's nickname for the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research}, and in it I found the Hawkins family mentioned. This was an important clue because my fourth great-grandfather's second wife in Ypsilanti was a Hester A. Hawkins and they live near a Hawkins family in Ypsilanti in a couple of censuses. {And Ypsilanti is a wee town -- then and now.} I then found a John Vaughan mentioned in the book as a vestry member and as a sexton for St. Luke's Episcopal Church there in Ypsilanti which is still open today. {In fact, I started following the church's Facebook Page because there's something about following your 4th great grandparent's church on Facebook, especially since I'm Episcopalian too.}

Finding a John Vaughan mentioned as a member of the Episcopalian Church was another important clue because I had already found Benjamin's baptismal record near Iberville, Quebec in Anglican records in Caldwell's Manor (Foucault) and Christie's Manor (Noyan) naming his parents as John T. & Prudence (Brown) Vaughan. I knew my John had been an Anglican/Episcopalian. Had he remained in the same denomination after they immigrated to America?

So I emailed St. Luke's and asked where their church records for the 1800s were archived, and they said they were located at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. So I had a look-see at their website and found, at the time, all lookups needed to be in person. Then I checked the catalog on, but they hadn't been filmed. So I put it off, and then picked the trail back up when I decided to apply for Daughter's of the American Revolution membership and United Empire Loyalist membership through Daniel's maternal and paternal lines, respectively. At the same time. {There's just something about a Civil War musician's mother's line being a Patriot line and his father's line being a Loyalist line, no?}

I thought perhaps I'd need to hire someone to go through those church records because I couldn't figure out how to convince my family that a family vacation to Michigan was a fabulous idea. They tend to like the Gulf Coast beaches in the summer. Go figure.

But then I checked again -- about two years later -- and found they'd been filmed. Well, at least the parish records containing baptisms, confirmations, burials, etc., had been filmed. The vestry minutes have not been filmed. But a girl can't be picky, right? {And all of  this is why I don't really think I have too many research brick walls. Many times -- for one reason or another -- I just haven't looked everywhere yet.}

So I ordered/rented the film for St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan from the FHL {Family History Library} and had it sent to my local library, MCML, {My nickname for the Montgomery County Memorial Library System.}, which recently became an affiliate of the FHL. 

Had my 4th great grandfather, John T. Vaughan, been on the vestry at St. Luke's? Had he and his family worshiped there? Had Daniel been baptized there? More importantly, would I finally have my answers to what happened to my 3rd great grandparents, Benjamin Brown & Susanna (Rook) Vaughan?

Would my answers be on that microfilm roll tucked in a little white box?

Would I find out what happened to "them"?


Note: Sources available upon request because if you think we're related, then contact me and we'll figure it out together. My email is up at the top of this blog page sort of on the right side in the Nav Bar.
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Friday, March 29, 2013

Life Happens, Tangents, Social Media, and Genealogy Wow!

I like tangents. Some of my very best genealogical finds come when I go off into tangents. Unfortunately, though, it's making my Daughters of the American Revolution and United Empire Loyalists research journeys much, much longer.

In my last blog post, I stated that the only way to find out about Annie's mother's maiden name was to go ahead and order a copy of Daniel and Annie's marriage record from the Archdiocese of New Orleans Archives.

And? I lied. That's not the only way. It was just the way I thought would be the easiest because I had not found a cousin {or the cousin} who had a copy of their church marriage record or a Family Bible or, really, anything that indicated what Annie's mother's name was.

You see, it all started about 2008 when I first started researching Daniel and Annie. When I joined the NGS the first time, I searched their database of family group sheets and found one submitted by a lady. It didn't give me anything I hadn't already found online. But? The name and address of the lady who had submitted it to the NGS was stamped across the front of it.

I tried writing her, but I never received a response, and I wasn't really surprised because the family group sheet had been submitted ages ago, like back in the 1980s.

Then? I Googled Daniel and Annie's names together and came across a Vaughan/Vaughn family website which was just a database of submitted info, and? It didn't contain anything I didn't already have about Daniel and Annie. After accessing it just that one time, it became infected with malware. Over the years, I've periodically checked it while searching online, and every time, the browser indicated that the site was infected with malware. {And, yes, I had cleaned out my cache and used different browsers.}

And then I ran into some clues online involving the same lady who had submitted the family group sheet to NGS. Some very nice unsubstantiated pieces of info like how
 Annie had 8 or 9 brothers one of whom is named Henry and, oh by the way she had a partial letter that Henry had sent Annie and it had Henry's address in Dublin and there was a date too... . And? There was an email address. So, of course I emailed her. And? No response. One of the best pieces of info that she left, though, was that she was Annie's great granddaughter through Henry Lewis, which is my Boo's older brother making her my second cousin once removed. But after about 2001, she seemed to drop off the online internet forums and sites.

So in reviewing all of this when I was gathering everything together for my DAR application, I thought, well, I just need to get the documents myself if possible.

And about the same time I started blogging about my DAR and UEL application journey, which, if you'll remember, has also included tangents along the way because I just can't help myself. I mean, it's a no-brainer when the archivist emails you and says, "I found your great-grandmother's baptismal record, but I also found her siblings' baptismal records. You want those?"

Of course, I want those. But for me, having them in my hand led me to blog about each one. For some, documents are cold with clues and facts...just names and dates.  For me, though, a document comes alive. Each one is a soupy mixture of tidbits of stories and it seems when I hold one in my hands - even if it is just a photocopy, the stories seem to bubble up in my head until they start to spill over. And that's exactly what happened when I received all those baptismal records. I couldn't not speculate about each one's baptismal day based on what I already had found about each one's life and about what I personally have experienced on that ferry ride between Bolivar Point and Galveston Island.

For me, it's kind of like the movie Night at the Museum or book The Night at the Museum by Milam Trenc. You know how the statues and history come alive when the museum closed? Well, when I get a document and look at each piece of information and when I start to piece things together within the context of what I know already or what I've found, well, the people in my tree start to come alive...the stories start to become more real...and then my imagination starts playing with possibilities and then I write stories about the possibilities. I mean they're always open-ended because I don't usually have everything yet. But I always stop to look at a document and wonder...And instead of wondering in my head or on a piece of paper, I blog it. I blog my questions and possibilities as I go.

And, in this case, with my great-grandmother's {Boo's} siblings, blogging about each one's baptismal record was one of the best things I could have done because a descendant of one of my Boo's sisters contacted me because he'd been Googling. And since I had been off on one of my tangents with the baptismal records that have absolutely nothing to do with my DAR and UEL apps, Google matched us up and he emailed me. He also confirmed all of Vyla's names throughout the years. {Google has got to be the best distant cousin matchmaker. At least it is for me. Ancestry's trees come in at a close second though.}

Anywho, this cousin is also a second cousin once removed because he descends from Vyla. And he and his wife were supposed to come to Texas last October to photograph tombstones and do some research. But then life happened and then the trip got rescheduled to January. And then life happened again and the trip got pushed off to March.

And then in the meantime, um, life happened to me as well, but somehow I've found the time here and there to keep digging and to even keep blogging a bit. And every time I blogged, I tweeted about my blog post. You know, just to share it and what-have-you.

Then one of those times a fellow tweeter, who I had started following because she's a photographer/Photoshop kind of person and then she followed back and then she started following some other fellow genealogists and then we, um, kind of got her hooked on genealogy {I swear to you I didn't do it on purpose.}, direct messaged me after I tweeted a link to one of my blog posts. She said that she was really enjoying Daniel's and Annie's story unfold, that she had Googled their names, found this Vaughan Family Website and asked if I'd seen it.


It was that original site that I hadn't checked in a year. You know, the one with the malware. It had been taken down and redone. And? This time it had some more info. And it was from that same lady/2nd cousin who descends from my Boo's older brother, Henry Lewis. This time there was a ton of detail and verbiage that made it clear that she has some documentation of some kind. It just wasn't listed on there anywhere.

So then I went to Facebook and found her and sent a friend request. Then I messaged her. {Which I should have done before, but, you know, life happens...}


No response. *big sigh*

So I kept going with Daniel's and Annie's civil marriage record and ordered microfilm for other parts of the tree for my DAR and UEL applications. And then I started combing through all those clues from that Vaughan/Vaughn family site. Like...

...the clue where she states that their marriage record indicates Annie's mother's maiden name...

...the clue where she states that Annie had been just visiting her cousins - the Browns - in New Orleans when she met Daniel because Daniel had been doing some carpentry work for her cousins and they were married by a Rev. Gleason in St. Alphonsus Church in New Orleans...

...the clue where she states Annie's cousin's husband was the city engineer for the City of New Orleans and that there was a family rumor that Annie's father had been an engineer in Dublin too...So I started checking out some of these clues online, and I never got around to ordering Daniel and Annie's marriage record from the Archdiocese of New Orleans Archives. You know, the one I said might contain Annie's mother's maiden name? Yeah, that one.

Turns out Annie's mother's name, according to this lovely lady cousin, is Jane Lennon. {Ohmigosh, right? That was totally one of my speculations/possibilities}. And since I already knew one of Daniel and Annie's marriage witnesses was Katie L. Lennon, well, I thought to myself, "Hm. Cousin?"

But wait. She stated that the Browns were Annie's cousins. So I skipped off to and did a little census and city directory work and found found a Kate Lennon living in a household with a Henry Brown, a Jennie L. Brown, and some other Brown family members. And? Henry Brown's occupation was listed as a civil engineer. 

{Goose bumps, or is that just me?}

Then? I decided to take the plunge with Annie's info on I mean, I had her possible-and-completely-unsubstantiated parent's names now and one of her brother's names. I was feeling kind of lucky and optimistic about being able to find Annie's baptismal record if it had been placed online. And I was on the couch with my iPad and thought, "Why not just have a peek?" So I looked, and...

None with the right date and/or parents. So then I searched for her parents together because it allows you to look for one person as well as another at the same time, and...

I found a James O'Brien who had married a Jane Lennon in 1831 in St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin. But? Nothing conclusive to say they were, indeed, Annie's parents. And sadly, there was no address and the blanks for their parents were empty. Then another marriage record came with up when I searched their names but the one getting married this time was a Henry O'Brien in 1887 and his parents were James and Jane (Lennon) O'Brien. And his address was 61 Lr. Mecklenburgh in Dublin.

Which jogged my memory of those clues about Annie's brother Henry from Dublin from my second cousin. Remember that partial letter? Well, it was sent in 1886 and his address, according to my wonderfully generous but elusive lady cousin, was 61 Lr Mecklenb---h (?) in Dublin.

So unless Henry O'Brien from the 1886 letter who was Annie's brother moved out of the 61 Lr Mecklenburgh residence and then a Henry O'Brien from 1887 whose parents were also a James O'Brien and Jane Lennon moved in, well, I'm pretty sure they are her parents. Maybe.

However, I still need to see that church marriage record. I want/need verification. I also need to familiarize myself with Irish records. You know, what's available for what time periods, and where are they located? I can't just blindly keep on drifting along the Internet looking at Irish records here and Irish records there never knowing for sure that I've looked at everything that exists, online or off. {Which is why I just bought Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: Irish Genealogy by John Grenham.} I need to get a lay of the land, so to speak.

So this week, I decided to take a look at the microfilm that I had previously ordered and I started with Daniel's family up in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and found some interesting information that I needed for both my DAR and UEL applications, and I'll get into the details of that in another blog post.

However, after a lovely day at the library perusing those handwritten parish records from about 1830s to the 1880s of St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Ypsilanti, Michigan, I came home and checked my email, and found an email from someone I didn't know {which happens a lot, btw} with 2 PDF attachments and no message. I usually delete those, but I knew my 2nd cousin was somewhere in the state taking photos of tombstones and the sender's email address was for a copy and print place in Giddings, Texas. {I Googled it.}

And? I clicked to view them. These were the PDFs {that I later converted to JPGs}:

Emails like this should come with a tissue warning. Seriously. 

So, I guessed that my 2nd cousin from Alabama had probably found my 2nd cousin that had left all those online clues. So I emailed him to see if he had been the one to send me these pics, and he called me later on that evening and confirmed that he'd found her!
Apparently life had happened to my other 2nd cousin and she hadn't been able to respond, but that she'd been doing genealogy for 50 years. And she had pictures and books and documents and letters and you name it. And when my 2nd cousin from Alabama was at the local copy/print place copying everything that my other 2nd cousin had so generously shared with him and he saw that pic of the Daniel and Annie, he said he knew I'd want to see it!

Oh my, was he ever right about that! Did you see Daniel's awesome 'stache!!!! And Annie! I love how she has one hand on Henry Lewis and the other around Genevieve. And then Vyla's hand is on Annie's shoulder. And my Boo! {She's Alice on the left.} I have memories of Boo from when I was real little. And thanks to another cousin who found me on Facebook, I have some other photos of her including one from 1920, but to see her here with everyone one else? Wow.

And then Henry Lewis. Another wow. When he grew up, I knew he had become a Master Mariner because I have his death certificate, and my literary mind wondered about the stories he could tell. In these photos, he looks bigger than life! And look at him on the boat. Just wow.

I'm meeting with my 2nd cousin from Alabama either Sunday or Monday, and I can't wait to see what our other cousin shared about the Vaughan and O'Brien families with him. And if a copy of Daniel and Annie's church marriage record is in there with her mother's maiden name, well, then I won't have to order it. If not, I'll still order it because it's important that I have something that links Annie to James O'Brien and Jane Lennon. Of course, there might be other things that have been found. I won't know until I see everything and assess it all.

And then many of you probably saw my Facebook update the other day about all of this, but what you didn't see is that another first cousin who recently started following me messaged me that evening and said she remembered that her dad had some photos of Daniel from the Civil War, and that it'd been a while since she had seen them, but that she thought that he had had a drum in those photos. But she was gonna contact him and see what happened to those photos.

{Dramatic pause.}

  • This is why I blog about my ancestors. {This isn't the first time I've hit the collaborative jackpot via my blog.}
  • This is why I don't wait until I have the whole story or all the facts. {If you want a cousin to contact you real quick-like, then blog something wrong. I mean, wrap it up with words like I think or I wonder or I guess, but my point is there is always someone who is gonna respond to that.}
  • This is why I not only research collaterals, but I blog about them as well. I just never know who is going to be Googling about their ancestor who might be related to my ancestor.
  • This is why I Tweet. {Others are accessing my blog posts by the social media platform of their choosing, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. And I meet the most remarkable people from around the world there. And then for some reason a few of them start looking for their ancestors. It's contagious, I think. I should probably come with a warning like, "Beware: following or interacting with me could very possibly lead you to wanting to learn about your family and where you come from."}
  • This is why I Facebook. {Even though I don't really like Facebook. It's not about me and what I prefer, but about the fact that so many others are on and like Facebook. And even when I post my blog posts there, life happens and they just don't click through on those links to my blog posts, but they certainly are reading Facebook updates. Note to self: Remember that.}

You can be certain that I'll be blogging about that collaborative family history jackpot my cousins are so generously sharing with me, particularly the, um, "stuff" I think will be useful for my DAR and UEL applications.  You know, the reason I started researching Daniel and Annie again in the first place.


Vaughn, Daniel Rooke and Family. Photograph. ca. 1895. Digital image. Privately held by Carolyn Marble, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lincoln, Texas. 2013.

Vaughn, Henry Lewis and Henry Daniel Vaughn. Photograph. Digital image. Privately held by Carolyn Marble, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lincoln, Texas. 2013.

Vaughn, Carolyn Elizabeth Laxson.  Photograph. Digital image. Privately held by Carolyn Marble, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lincoln, Texas. 2013.

HLV & DEA B. Calvin Jr.  Photograph. Digital image. Privately held by Carolyn Marble, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lincoln, Texas. 2013.

HLV (on sidewalk).  Photograph. Digital image. Privately held by Carolyn Marble, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lincoln, Texas. 2013.

HLV (on boat).  Photograph. Digital image. Privately held by Carolyn Marble, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lincoln, Texas. 2013.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Annie & the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Part Deux

St. Alphonsus Church, New Orleans. Detail.
St. Alphonsus Church, New Orleans. Detail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, that is.

In my last blog post, I explained how the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans Archives seemed pretty serious about their instructions for genealogists. If I want a copy of my 2nd grandparent's marriage record, I either need to give them the church they were married in or the address of the residence(s) of participants in the marriage {In my case, Daniel and Annie's }, and preferably the bride's address.

And all I had was the info on their returned marriage license that indicates that the marriage was performed in NOLA and the returned marriage license was signed by a Rev. Gleason. And I knew from family lore that Annie was a devout Catholic.

So, as suggested by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans Archives' page for genealogists, I attempted to consult the city directories for New Orleans for the time period around Daniel and Annie's New Orleans marriage in 1874. I did this by first surveying where all the directories are available to me {where I am located, a northern suburb of Houston}. And? If I could get it for free, that'd be nice. {Can I get an Amen?}

According to and the New Orleans' public library, there are 2 different city of directories for this time period - Sourds and Edwards. Sourds is available on to which I have a subscription, but? No listings for "my" Daniel Vaughan or no listing for "my" Annie O'Brien. {There are others, but I ruled them out by following them in the later city directories and censuses for NOLA when I know and can prove that my Daniel and Annie were living in Galveston, Texas with city directories, censuses, and their children's baptismal records.}

I thought about ordering the films from the FHL, but I already have 4 films on order with them so I don't have to go meet {or bother} Brother Ed at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio Archives.

So I checked out what my local genealogical library, Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, in Houston had on microfilm the last time I was there. In the online microprint database it indicated it had the NOLA city directories on microfilm, but didn't indicate from which publishers. So I went to Clayton.

And? They had both Sourds and Edwards.

And? Not one Daniel Vaughan or Annie O'Brien in either one of them.

So? I looked up the witnesses listed on their returned marriage license in the city directories. I only found a "Katie S. Lennon" listed several years after Daniel's and Annie's marriage {when they were already living in Galveston, Texas according to the Galveston city directories and their children's baptismal records}.

St. Alphonsus Church, New Orleans
St. Alphonsus Church, New Orleans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Then? I looked under the Gleason surname in the 1874 and 1875 city directories looking for the {or a} Rev. Gleason that married them {or might have married them} and signed their marriage license before returning it. Bingo! A Rev. James Gleason {spelled 'Gleeson in 1874 and 'Gleason' in 1875} was listed as an "Assistant Pastor" at St. Alphonsus Church while living at the "Convent of Redemptorists".

This information matched the info that Finn so graciously found in that newspaper article that he said indicated a Rev. Gleason {a deacon} had presided over a Father Duffy's funeral at St. Alphonsus Church in NOLA.

But? Is this the church where Daniel and Annie were married in 1874? So, I decided to find out quickly what I could about St. Alphonsus and the Catholic Church in NOLA for this time period. So, of course, I Googled it.

And these are the websites I found:

And this is my summary of what I found for what I need {But there's more & I highly recommend reading those links especially if you have Irish Catholic NOLA heritage}:
St. Alphonsus Church parish in NOLA served the Roman Catholic Irish community in the Lower Garden District of NOLA, and that it was located right across the street from St. Mary's Assumption Church, which served the German immigrant community in this time period. If you have the time and inclination, please read all about this community in the above links. {Wow. I learned a lot.}

I also found in these links that while St. Alphonsus is no longer an operating church it is open for visits to the public 3 days a week and that the Irish Channel, which is where the Irish immigrants lived in the Lower Garden District in this time period, throws "the best" St. Patrick's Day Parades every year. You know what all this means right? I NEED to go back to NOLA for St. Patrick's Day. You know, for research purposes. ;)

St Alphonsus Catholic Church
St Alphonsus Catholic Church (Photo credit: Traveling Mermaid)
So. While I couldn't find an address for Daniel or Annie, I think I found the church they were married in. And there's only one way to find out for sure.

Mail or email the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans Archives with the exact information they have so carefully and explicitly asked for when a genealogist is making an inquiry naming St. Alphonsus Church as the church Daniel in Annie were married in.


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